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Gary Thomas with the John Toomey Trio at Robin Hixon Theater


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Saxophonist Gary Thomas has been called "one the most original saxophone voices of his generation" and not only is he in high demand in jazz but has worked with some of the top rap artists and orchestras performing today.

More than just a first-call sideman, Thomas has recorded 11 albums as a leader. Two of these, By Any Means Necessary and While the Gate is Open were named by Downbeat magazine as two of the best recordings of the 1990's.

Thomas became the first African-American department head in the Peabody Conservatory Jazz Studies program and later became the first African-American endowed professor as the Richard and Elizabeth Case Director of Jazz Studies. He has taught all over the world through masterclasses and lectures and in 2012 received the Johns Hopkins University Excellence in Teaching Award.

Playing with Thomas on this unusually chilly April night (the concert was originally scheduled to be played in the new outdoor Perry Pavilion but because of the wind and drop in temperature had to be moved to the Robin Hixon Theater) was pianist and Old Dominion University Professor John Toomey, bassist Michael Hawkins and drummer T. Howard Curtis III. This appearance was a homecoming for Curtis as he was born in Williamsburg, VA and played in the Norfolk area for years.

This super group performed for more than 90 minutes with Thomas playing sax and flute. Following are some photos from the night's gig.
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