Praise, Jazz, and a family band

Gospel Jazz for Black History Month at SC4

Kristopher Reynolds
Staff Writer

The Thomason Family Band came to lay down the soul Feb. 20 as part of the “SC4 Thursday Noon & Night Free Concert Series” hosted in SC4’s Fine Arts Theatre.
The quartet’s performance blended classic smooth jazz, soul, and instrumental gospel with songs such as “Christ is All,” “Awesome God,” and “Speak to my Heart.”
The band is composed of all family. James Thomason Jr., known colloquially as “The Sax Man,” has over 30 years of experience in delivering the word of the good Lord via saxophone. Thomason Jr. is also the night foreman of the SC4 custodial staff. He plays Alto, Tenor, and Soprano Saxophones.
Minister Joel Thomason handles keyboard for the band, and is known as ‘The Maestro’.
John Thomason Sr. is in charge of slappin’ the bass, an instrument he fell in love with after breaking the first two strings of an acoustic guitar.
Melvin Duren III handles the drum work for the group, at the mere age of 15. According to his family, he began playing at the age of two, where there realized his prodigal gift for the rhythm section.
At the end of the night, Thomason Jr. remarked “We play gospel jazz. They had asked us to come because they wanted something different for black history month. I enjoyed myself, I loved playing here tonight. God has blessed me with this talent, and I love it. It’s good playing with my family.”
Loreleen Nichols of Port Huron said “I’ve known them my whole life. Minister Joel was the musician for the choir at my church, known him for 37 years. Tonight is long overdue. I just love them. Glad they could make it happen tonight.”
Coming up March 27 for the next installment of the Thursday Noon & Night Free Concert Series, Moxie Strings, a Celtic/Americana group.
Admission is always free, and will be held at noon and again at 7 p.m.
For a fee of $10 and phone call to (810)-989-5709, reservations can be made to have a lunch in with the performers following the noon show.

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