Mardra, Reggie Thomas Play Birch Creek Aug. 5

Birch Creek is pleased to welcome back Mardra and Reggie Thomas Aug. 5 to the “Swinging Through the Ages” concert in the Dutton Concert Barn. Fondly known as Birch Creek sweethearts, Mardra and Reggie have performed together at Birch Creek for more than two decades and collaborated on multiple CDs and recordings including Hello Again, Never Can Say Goodbye and Matters of the Heart.

Reggie is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, after three years as Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University and 20 years as Professor of Music at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He can be seen fronting his own groups (Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble; OGD) on both piano and Hammond organ and performing with other artists including Will Matthews, Ann Hampton Callaway and the Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Project. He is a current member of The Count Basie Orchestra and a rhythm section accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competitions. Reggie has rich history performing for more than 20 years with the Birch Creek Jazz Orchestra.

Mardra performs as an actor and vocalist. She is seen often with her husband Reggie, and with big bands sharing an intimate, energetic, and soul-stirring style that swings. For more than 20 years she has performed as vocalist with the Birch Creek Academy Jazz Orchestra. She is seen on concert stages, jazz clubs as well as world-class jazz festivals.

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