John Buchanan is a trombonist, keyboardist, and songwriter who was a member of The Soul Searchers from 1971-1986. He wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on their first three albums: We the People (1972), Salt of the Earth (1974) and Bustin’ Loose (1978).
Buchanan is a product of the DC Public Schools Instrumental Music Program. He learned to read music in the first grade and played melody flute. He started learning the trombone in the 4th grade and learned to play jazz in the 7th grade. At the same time he performed with the DC Youth Orchestra Program, first on French horn and then on trombone. Buchanan studied composition in college and lead his own soul band, “The Magnificent Seven”, the crossover group “Melting Pot” and the jazz combo “Coatis Mundi” at the University of Notre Dame.
Buchanan first heard the Soul Searchers at Byrne Manor on his Thanksgiving break in 1970 and sat in with the band after rehearsal in Horace Brock’s basement. He was invited to join the band playing trombone upon graduating in May 1971. Buchanan gradually added the keyboard to his repertoire and played electric piano and synthesizer.
Buchanan and the Soul Searchers toured the country twice and performed with many major acts including War, Confunction, The Commodores, Mary J. Blige, Mother’s Finest, and one trip with the “Soul Train” Show.