Sunday Gospel Brunch features Very Special Guest Brianna Thomas joining Greg Lewis today! Marvin Sewell on guitar. What a group. NOT TO BE MISSED!
First show - 1 pm
Second show - 2:30 pm.
Brunch served from 11am.
Brianna Thomas ~ Vocals
Marvin Sewell ~ Guitar
Greg Lewis ~ Hammond Organ
Warren ~ Drums
Brianna Thomas' singing is deeply enriched by an understanding of the masterful voices of jazz past. Beyond a healthy serving of sass, Sarah Vaughn’s influence contributes to Brianna’s style the artistic savvy needed to communicate myriad moods and feelings as well as a keen instrumental perspective. Add to that a coyness reminiscent of Nancy Wilson, an Ella-esque skill and enthusiasm for scatting, and the stylistic breadth and vocal grandeur evocative of Dianne Reeves. Perhaps Brianna’s greatest asset is the soulfulness of her sound. Captivatingly unique, her sound moves in tones ranging from sweet invitations to assured convictions, establishing a personal and classic quality that leaves listeners swooning after her performances.
Brianna has blazed a path in the world of jazz and continues a stellar ascent. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times puts it this way: ”a strong voice and a big range, descended from Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter and routed through Dianne Reeves, with clarity and confidence and a little dirt.”
Greg Lewis (Organ Monk) "is an organist of commanding aplomb and rugged counterintuition, has now released four albums dedicated to the compositions of Thelonious Monk. On his instrument, notes swell past their boundaries; it doesn’t allow for the kind of clumpy, abraded harmonies that tend to define Monk’s music (especially when you’re using a hefty charge of distortion, as Mr. Lewis does). So he has to pry these tunes apart and solder them together with simpler and bolder harmonies. On “Organ Monk Blue,” Mr. Lewis’s newest disc, he takes on Monk’s blues (and blues-adjacent) compositions with help from the outré guitar master Marc Ribot and the pliable drummer Jeremy Clemons, known as Bean. On the opening track, Mr. Lewis turns “Green Chimneys” — a Monk classic — into a reggae shuffle. Where Monk used to press up against the front of these notes, articulating them a tad before the beat, Mr. Lewis drags back against the flow, exchanging crimped jabs with Mr. Ribot and soloing in short, punchy bursts until he hits a cruising altitude around the 2:00 mark." - Gioavanni Russonello / NY Times
Brianna’s talents have propelled her to many successes including performances at the Montreux, North Sea, and Umbria Jazz Festivals and in venues ranging from the Bahamas to Geneva, Switzerland. Brianna was a resident in both the 2001 and 2002 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Programs – an international artist-in-residence program that assembles a select group of jazz musicians to perform their original compositions at the Kennedy Center. At “Jazz Ahead” she worked with a host of premier jazz educators and performers including renowned vocalist Carmen Lundy, Winard Harper and Nathan Davis. Brianna’s extensive list of stateside performances includes appearances with Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Houston Person and the Barber Brothers. She has performed across the country from New Orleans to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. In 2001, Thomas was awarded "High School Jazz Vocalist of the Year" by Down Beat magazine. Notably, Brianna Thomas is the youngest person ever to be inducted into Peoria’s African-American Hall of Fame at the age of thirteen in 1996. She has also received a certificate of excellence from the state of Illinois in recognition of her musical accomplishments. Brianna has blazed a path in the world of jazz and continues a stellar ascent. With dedication, hard work, and a sparkling personality, Brianna is sure to become one of jazz’s most prominent voices. The words of legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller best illustrate Brianna Thomas’ abilities, hailing her as a “marvelous new artist who has all it takes to reach the top of the jazz profession and music in general.”