A native of Hawaii, Jack Johnson has always held the ocean close to his heart. His trips to the sea as a child with his mom and dad helped to inspire this lifelong love. An avid surfer, the musician taps into that sentiment on his latest album, To The Sea, released earlier this year. In April, when the Gulf oil spill occurred, he knew he had to help aid the recovery.
“As a surfer and someone who is so affected by the ocean, I feel I need to be a steward of the ocean,” Johnson says. “I feel I’ve gotten so much from [it] I need to give back a little extra. When I first started learning how large-scale the spill really was, I knew I wanted to do what I could to help. I knew I would be touring through that area eventually, so we started researching what groups we could help support.”
The list he and his All At Once campaign came up with is extensive: More than 150 charities nationwide are partners on the tour, with 100 percent of the proceeds destined for organizations like Gulf Waterkeepers, Gulf Restoration Network, the National Wildlife Federation and Tampa Bay Watch. Local charities also play a role, and the band’s West Palm Beach show at the Cruzan Amphitheatre (August 26) is no exception, with Indian Riverkeeper, Slow Food USA, Surfrider Foundation, Trash to Treasure Creative Reuse Center and Kids Ecology Corps all taking part.
“We have local nonprofit groups at every show so people can learn about what they do,” Johnson explains. “A percentage of the money from that show goes toward those local groups, then at the end of the tour we take the rest of the proceeds and put it into an account and use the interest from that account so it can become a perpetual foundation, called the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.”
The Foundation also donates funds to arts, music, and education groups.
“I feel so lucky to be able to make a living with music,” Johnson says. “When we talked about going on tour again, I wanted to not just lessen the negative impact [on the environment], but expand on the positive. The only way, in my mind, to do that was to go out and donate all the money to not just environmental groups, but to know that the money we raised from each night was going toward art and music education as well.”
Jack Johnson plays at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Thursday, August 26 at 7 PM. Visit ticketmaster.com.