Michele Thomas makes her debut at the 39th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival! - Jazz and Heritage Pavilion Stage
From the Jazz Institute of Chicago - "The daughter of a preacher, Chicago singer Michele Thomas brings an irresistible gospel-soul warmth to jazz. And, as she demonstrates with her Stevie Wonder covers Messenger, her 2012 album, she applies a sophisticated jazz sensibility to gospel and soul. Messenger was so-named in recognition of her subject’s outspoken message songs, including “Higher Ground,” to which she brings a timely anger. “His music not only brings spirits up, but makes you think about what’s going on in the world around you,” she said. For Thomas, that world extends to Sweden, where she taught and performed gospel. Her band SoulMeme features two longtime friends and cohorts in guitarist Neal Alger and drummer Darren Scorza, with whom she cut her teeth as a performer in places like Big Joe’s 2 & 6 Pub in Ravenswood Manor. They will be joined today by pianist Matt Nelson and the immaculate bassist Clark Sommers."
Known for its artistic creativity, the Chicago Jazz Festival is a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition. It promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through free, quality live musical performance. Since 1979, the festival's mission is to showcase Chicago's vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.