WHEELING-Charleston's premier jazzman Bob Thompson and his trio will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 8 as part of Oglebay Institute's Jazz at the Stifel series.
Thompson, keyboardist for the house band of the Mountain Stage radio and television show, has been a staple of the West Virginia jazz scene for more than 30 years. His successful career has taken him across the state, the country and the world, playing as far away as Europe, South America and Africa. From his early days with the Modern Jazz Interpreters to an acclaimed series of solo albums on labels like Capitol and Ichiban to his latest work with his five-member Bob Thompson Unit, Thompson has won the respect and praise of jazz critics and fans alike.
In between national and international touring, Thompson can still be found playing clubs in Charleston - something he says keeps him close to his musical roots. "When I'm on a big stage, I just treat it like I'm in a bar somewhere," he says. "The kind of connection with the audience I like happens a lot when we're playing in a small club, and that carries over when we get into a larger venue."
Thompson says he has a lot of fun playing music "that's funky, that swings and pulls at your heartstrings."
"Our goal is to take you away from it all, if only for a little while," he said.
This is the second show of Oglebay Institute's Jazz at the Stifel series. Pittsburgh Jazz legend Joe Negri performed to a packed house September 10.
"We are thrilled to bring these world class musicians to Wheeling," said Oglebay Institute director of performing arts Kate Crosbie. "The Stifel Center is a great setting. It's one of those intimate venues where the performers and the audience can easily connect."
Don't miss your chance to see this acclaimed jazz artist at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 8 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road in Wheeling. Call the Stifel Center at 304-242-7700 to make reservations. Refreshments are available for purchase at all shows, and parking is free and available just behind the center.
These programs are made possible through the generous support of the members of the Institute as well as with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.