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Musician

Brianna Thomas

Born and raised in Peoria Illinois, Brianna grew up surrounded by music. Her father, Charlie Thomas, not only influenced her with his own unique talents as a vocalist and percussionist, he created an exceptionally well-rounded musical environment that fostered Brianna’s emerging abilities.At the tender age of six, Brianna made her singing debut performing a duet rendition of the jazz classic, “What A Wonderful World” with her father. At the age of eight she won her first of thirteen trophies, all first place and overall, from various district and regional talent shows. Between the ages of eight and ten she had her first gigs performing for a variety of banquets, black tie affairs and as a guest on local radio stations

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Celebrating Jazz Geminis Valaida Snow and Memphis Minnie Among Others

Read "Celebrating Jazz Geminis Valaida Snow and Memphis Minnie Among Others" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The first hour celebrates the birthdays of Valaida Snow, known as “Little Louis" and “Queen of the Trumpet," a nickname given to her by W.C. Handy — a virtuoso jazz entertainer who became an internationally celebrated talent. Also in the spotlight is Memphis Minnie, a blues guitarist, and songwriter married to Joe McCoy and later Ernest ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases From Yoko Miwa and Dave Stryker Plus A Valentines Salute to Blanche Calloway

Read "New Releases From Yoko Miwa and Dave Stryker Plus A Valentines Salute to Blanche Calloway" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This Valentines Day broadcast includes new releases from pianist Yoko Miwa, vocalists Ada Bird Wolfe, Valentina Marino, Laila Biali and guitarist Dave Stryker, plus birthday shout outs to Blanche Calloway, Carmen Staaf and Sharel Cassity, among others. Also remembered was vocalist and educator Carol Fredette. Thanks for your continued support. Please help all of these fine ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases, New Faces and More Jazz Capricorns to Celebrate

Read "New Releases, New Faces and More Jazz Capricorns to Celebrate" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast features new releases from vocalists Marya Lawrence, Janis Mann & Kenny Werner, pianist Chris Pattishall with a new look at Mary Lou Williams's Zodiac Suite and the group New Faces featuring Brandon Lee, Markus Howell Nicole Glover, Caili O'Doherty, Adi Meyerson and Cory Cox plus more birthday shoutouts to jazz Capricorns Myra Melford, Anat ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Final Holiday Releases Plus A New Recording From Brianna Thomas

Read "Final Holiday Releases Plus A New Recording From Brianna Thomas" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast features new holiday releases from The Moore-McColl Jazz Society, Adrian Cunningham & La Lucha, Elsa Nilsson, Simone Kopmajer, Sarah McKenzie and Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia plus a new recording by Brianna Thomas, more Grammy nominees and a special birthday shoutout to Gladys Shelley (best known for penning “How Did He Look?" and “Come ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Take Me Downtown, It's a Hot Summer Night

Read "Take Me Downtown, It's a Hot Summer Night" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The first broadcast of the Summer includes hot new releases from saxophonists Pureum Jin and Stan Getz, flutist Ragan Whiteside, pianist Yoko Miwa, vocalist Lauren Henderson, and the Ed Palermo Big Band, with birthday shout outs to Sammy Cahn, Manny Albam, Jaimie Branch, Cyndi Lauper, Sue Raney and Deborah Weisz, among others. Happy Solstice !

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Article: Album Review

Eyal Vilner Big Band: Swing Out!

Read "Swing Out!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Eyal Vilner's fourth album as leader of his impressive New York-based big band is a throwback to the kind of concert dates audiences no doubt derived great pleasure from during the storied Big-Band Era well over half a century ago when groups not far removed from this one in spirit traveled cross-country by bus, car or ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Honoring Aretha & Timeless Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh

Read "Honoring Aretha & Timeless Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This week we remember the legendary Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in the second hour and enjoy a sampling of standards with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh plus songs by women who wrote with pianist Jimmy Rowles whose centennial is being celebrated this year. Playlist Lynne Arriale “Woodstock" from Give Us These Days ...

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Article: In Pictures

Charlie Parker Festival 2018

Read "Charlie Parker Festival 2018" reviewed by Rudolph Lu


Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park's Summer Stage was the site of two separate concerts that were part of New York City's Charlie Parker Festival 2018. This 26th edition truly celebrated the diversity and styles of jazz. August 24th opened with noted vocalist Brianna Thomas performing jazz standards with her talented swinging band. Charles Tolliver led ...

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Article: Album Review

JC Hopkins Biggish Band: Meet Me At Minton's

Read "Meet Me At Minton's" reviewed by James Nadal


In a direct shout out to the famous Harlem nightclub, and evoking the golden age of jazz orchestras, Meet Me At Minton's by the JC Hopkins Biggish Band is a polished throwback to the era when premier vocalists fronted illustrious big bands, while dancers flooded the floor. With a rotating lineup of eight singers, backed by ...


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