Gary Thomas, sax
David Kikoski, piano
Blake Meister, bass
John Lamkin III, drums
Saxophonist and flutist Gary Thomas established himself in the 1980s as one of the most jarring soloists of his generation, especially against somewhat chaotic backdrops.
The Baltimore native studied at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He founded the jazz studies degree program at Peabody and was the first African-American degree program director at the conservatory. Has traveled the globe as both a leader and sideman. His performance and recording credits include Dennis Chambers, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Vinnie Colaiuta, Billy Hart, Wynton Marsalis, David Sanborn, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Rivers, Vanessa Williams, Betty Carter, George Benson, McCoy Tyner, Randy Brecker, James Newton, Jeff Watts, Marvin “Smitty”Smith, Patrice Rushen, Kevin Eubanks, John Scofield, Tony Williams, Kenny Garrett, Jimmy Smith, John Patitucci.
In addition to 11 recording dates as a leader, he’s worked on more than 80 recordings as a featured sideman, reflecting his status as one of the most coveted saxophonists on the jazz scene today. Two of his recordings as a leader, By Any Means Necessary and While the Gate Is Open, were named best recordings of the 1990s by Downbeat Magazine.
The most recent highlights of Thomas' activities are his tenure with British guitarist John McLaughlin from 1997 to 1999, and as a member of the Herbie Hancock Quartet since 2002.
At a time when jazz has been to the far reaches of the musical universe and back, some would say that its all been played before and we're currently at a point in the cyclical nature of this art form when those with lesser talents are merely rewriting the past. Possibly this is why innovation and individualism are so rare these days and why David Kikoski stands apart from the scores of pianists who currently make their home within the mainstream tradition.
In his early teens he began working with jazz and rock groups and won the New Jersey Allstate Jazz Competition. Kikoski earned a bachelor’s degree in piano from Berklee College of Music. While at school he had a steady trio gig and met Pat Metheny who sat in with the band. A few years later they recorded a CD together with Roy Haynes.
He went on to build an illustrious career, of performance and recording. Kikoski played on the Mingus Big Band CD "Live at the Jazz Standard." It won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble. He has played on over 100 CDs including 14 under his name.
David Kikoski continues to foster his individualistic voice while exploring a wide variety of opportunities both as a leader and sideman.He especially wants to emphasize his compositions, further develop opportunities to perform with his own groups, and write for films. An affecting modernist, Kikoski distills the best in jazz and popular music and infuses every song with attention-getting brilliance.
“The latest display of Kikoski’s manifold gifts, Phoenix Rising is a feast of firsts, serving as his debut recording for the HighNote label, his only on-record session with this particular stable, and the lone album under his own name to have been primarily shaped in the studio. The track listing and personnel may offer familiar places and faces, but the work as a whole clearly speaks to a new day on multiple fronts.” - Dan Bilawsky
Please read all about him at http://davekikoski.com/
Tickets: $25 in advance/ $28 at door/$10 full-time students with ID