Saxophonist John Thomas returns to The Mainstay with his all-star jazz quintet Saturday November 16 at 8pm. They will be presenting the music of Blue Note legends Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham. Tickets are $20 online or $25 by phone reservation or at the door.Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website at www.mainstayrockhall.org
Saxophonist Hank Mobley and trumpeter Kenny Dorham are two of the greatest artists to emerge from the Blue Note era. From their starts as bandmates in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to their own careers as leaders, these men contributed greatly to the jazz songbook, and each has recorded desert island discs for jazz fans. Join Thomas and his quintet of jazz All-stars as they pay tribute to these great artists. The group features Allyn Johnson on piano, Theljon Allen on trumpet, Shawn Simon on bass, and Frank Russo on drums, Thomas leads the band on tenor saxophone.
John Thomas spans the chasm between the concert and jazz saxophone worlds. Equally adept at the arts of improvisation and interpretation, he explores the bounds of genre and idiom. Known for his deep lush tone and swinging style, Thomas delights fans of the tenor saxophone.
Allyn Johnson is a pianist whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. Allyn began playing piano at the age of five, got his start playing piano for the youth choir in his uncle’s church. There he honed his inner musical gift. While a student at the University of the District of Columbia, Allyn was mentored by the late great jazz legend Calvin Jones. Now Allyn has succeeded Jones as the director in 2005. Johnson has the reputation of being one of the most versatile pianists in the D.C. region, and has learnt his talent to stalwarts such as Hamiett Blueitt, Warren Wolf and Paul Carr. Johnson has the ability to instantaneously adapt and respond to musical cues, even as he possesses the technical facility to elevate the sonic conversation.
Theljon Allen, a Baltimore native, began playing trumpet at age 12. He attended New School University and Peabody Conservatory. Theljon has recorded or performed with Ledisi, Tye Tribett, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Cyrus Chestnut, Joel Holmes, Hinton Battle, and Ariana Grande. Theljon also released his first album, Universal Language which is available on itunes and Amazon.
Frank Russo joyfully paints colorful soundscapes with his highly skilled, passionate, musical drumming. He’s an in-demand performer, recording artist and educator who currently resides in Maryland and teaches at Towson University. Raised in the NYC area, Frank was steeped in the rich musical heritage of the jazz legends at an early age and carriers on the legacy of a musical family. An incredibly adaptable musician, a partial list of his performances testifies to his talent. Tours have included several trips to Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda.
Shawn Simon was born in Dover, Delaware where he started taking music lessons on piano at age 8. He went to East Carolina and studied double bass and electric bass under Professor Carroll V. Dashiell and received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance. Simon went on to earn a Master’s degree in Music Performance at Towson. In addition to teaching at Loyola University, Simon performs throughout the East Coast. Mr. Simon performed with a variety of jazz artists, including Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Warren Wolf, and Nicholas Payton.
The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region and is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org.
Upcoming Mainstay performances include:
November 18 Joe Holt welcomes Steve Beskrone
November 24 The Hedgelawn Classical Series presents the Gallery Winds
November 25 Joe Holt Welcomes Lea McGowan
November 30 After Thanksgiving Party with The Blueskeepers
December 1 The Hedgelawn Classical Series presents the 2nd Ceremony Duo
December 2 Joe Holt welcomes Mary Simmons
December 7 Rumba Club
December 9 Joe Holt welcomes Holly Land and Mike McShane
December 15 Harp and Soul- Songs of the Season
December 16 Joe Holt welcomes Cody Leavel
December 23 Joe Holt welcomes Nina Sharp