Mardra Thomas Brings Billie Holiday to Birch Creek

Mardra Thomas performing as Billie Holiday in Lady Day.

Jazz vocalist and actress, Mardra Thomas, joins the Birch Creek Academy Big Band August 4 – 8 and will be highlighted in the STARZ Series concert on August 8, bringing the music and magic of Billie Holiday to Egg Harbor.

Hailing from Glen Carbon, Illinois, Thomas’s vocal foundation rests securely in a variety of styles. Her sultry, satiny vocals have been featured with big bands, small groups, and solo pianists in the St. Louis region, Egg Harbor, and around the country. She performs regularly with her talented husband, pianist and Birch Creek faculty member Reggie Thomas, with the Mardra & Reggie Thomas Jazz Ensemble, and OGD.

Thomas has presented voice workshops and master classes for Birch Creek students as well as colleges and high school bands around the country, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Festival in New York.

Thomas is also a talented actress and has delivered a stunning interpretation of Billie Holiday in Lady Day. Her lead roles on the dramatic stage also include Sister Laura in Tambourines to Glory, Lady In Green in For Colored Girls, Mama in Terry McMillan’s Mama, and Power Woman in Menopause the Musical.

Sharing her passion for music, Thomas brings joy to the aging with performances of “Elder Care Music Care,” and confined inmates are inspired by engagements through the “Prison Performing Arts Program.” Other ongoing performances, “Women in Jazz” and the “Jazz Story” at St. Louis’ Sheldon Concert Hall, keep the history of jazz alive for school children of all ages.

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