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MUSICIAN Born:

Mike Thornton

Mike Thornton blends traditional classic jazz standards with a passion for performing works by live, contemporary composers. Mike is following the footsteps of giants of vocal jazz by interpreting a new generation of jazz artists. Performing on stages across the U.S. over his career, Mike has dedicated his life to being an ever-evolving musician. Mike is a vocalist, musical director, actor, nationally-known political satirist, director and producer. Before launching his professional career as a singer (and actor), he attended Hartt School of Music, where he studied voice and music education and had the opportunity to study with the great Jackie McLean. During his days in NYC, Mike’s Jazz Quartet played clubs like the 55 Bar, Arthur’s Tavern, Cleopatra’s Needle, The Garage, Red Blazer, Augie’s, and Torch. In the Washington D.C

NEWS: BOOK / MAGAZINE

Cafe Society: The Wrong Place for the Right People

Cafe Society: The Wrong Place for the Right People

At the end of 1938 a former shoe salesman named Barney Josephson opened what would become one of the most legendary nightspots in jazz history. Cafe Society was New York City's first integrated nightclub, and it quickly became a gathering place for artists, intellectuals, leftwing political figures, jazz lovers, and--perhaps inevitably--the very Manhattan sophisticates it meant ...

NEWS: BOOK / MAGAZINE

A Strange and Bitter Crop: Billie Holiday's Song of the Century

A Strange and Bitter Crop: Billie Holiday's Song of the Century

When Harry Smith, creator of The Anthology of American Folk Music and dean of American bohemians, received a Grammy just a few months before his death in 1991, he said, “I'm glad to say that my dreams came true--that I saw America changed through music." In the book Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an ...

NEWS: MUSIC INDUSTRY

Clark's Last Leap: Sonny Clark, 1961-62

Clark's Last Leap: Sonny Clark, 1961-62

Sonny Clark was a hardbop piano master who appeared on a slew of classic late-1950s and early-1960s jazz recordings. Though Clark has garnered a cult following over the years, especially on the heels of saxophonist John Zorn's late-1980s tribute to him, his name is not often found in histories of jazz piano. Music critic Robert Palmer ...

NEWS: MUSIC INDUSTRY

Dearly Beloved: Husband-and-Wife Teams in Jazz

Dearly Beloved: Husband-and-Wife Teams in Jazz

Long-term love and art go hand-in-hand on this edition of Night Lights, with a focus on couplings both romantic and musical. Though the rigors of the jazz life made marriage difficult to sustain for marital partners who played together as well, artists such as Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott, Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour, John and ...

NEWS: OBITUARY
NEWS: RECORDING

"Keepnews Collection" is Kaput

"Keepnews Collection" is Kaput

Concord engineer Joe Tarantino reportedly says that the label's “Keepnews Collection" reissue series is being cancelled, due to poor sales. The series featured new editions of classic jazz albums such as Sonny Rollins' Freedom Suite, Wes Montgomery's Incredible Jazz Guitar, and Thelonious Monk's Brilliant Corners, all remastered by Tarantino, with updated liner notes by longtime, legendary ...

NEWS: RADIO

The Benny Golson Songbook

The Benny Golson Songbook

Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson has written some of the most beloved and frequently-played standards in the modern jazz canon. “I Remember Clifford," “Along Came Betty," “Whisper Not," and “Killer Joe" are just a few of the memorable compositions that Golson debuted as a young musician that showcase both his hardbop bite and his penchant for melodic ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

David Fathead Newman Has Gone

David Fathead Newman Has Gone

Saxophonist David “Fathead" Newman, whose blend of jazz and inimitable Lone Star soul made him an integral part of Ray Charles' orchestra and served him through dozens of impressive leader dates, passed away from pancreatic cancer yesterday. The news came as a surprise to many jazz fans, as Newman had been highly productive in recent years, ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Richard Sudhalter: A Brief Remembrance

Richard Sudhalter: A Brief Remembrance

Jazz historian Richard Sudhalter passed away last year at the age of 69, having spent the last several years of his life fighting significant health challenges. This Monday evening there will be a memorial concert in his honor at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in New York City, with an all-star lineup of musicians and spoken tributes ...


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