Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas



DATE OF BIRTH: May 31, 1933


INSTRUMENT: saxophone, flute


Joe Thomas still remembers his first musical performance. It was playing the famous Illinois Jacquet solo from "Flying Home" at the Oliver Street School auditorium in Newark when he was 17, his mother proudly watching from the audience. What followed was a lifetime of music. Thomas fronted his own group for many years and also played in the bands of Specks Williams and Rhoda Scott. He both toured with Scott and had a steady gig in her trio at the Key Club in Newark for more than two years. Thomas credits his late brother Frank with teaching him how to play the saxophone but also says he  learned from other musicians as well as listening to hundreds of hours of recorded music, mostly big band jazz. In recent years, he and his band have performed at the North Reformed Church in downtown Newark, where he is a longtime parishioner.

NEWARK CLUBS: Key Club, Sparky J's, Front Room, Lyric Bar, Playbill Lounge, Four Leaf Deli 

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