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Steve Thomas: Bio

Steve Thomas

STEVE THOMAS is a composer-lyricist, jazz vocalist, percussionist, and performance artist based in Somerville, MA. He released the CD/download EXFOLIATE by Steve Thomas & REAL INCOGNITO in fall 2015, and a CD of original jazz songs, SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH, by Steve Thomas and the Co-Conspirators in the fall of 2006, both on his Not Two Five Records label. His first CD of original songs, GOT THE MAP, vocal/piano duets with pianist Ben Schwendener, was released on Gravity Records in 2002.

He’s performed with Steve Thomas & REAL INCOGNITO (John Funkhouser, electric keyboards; Ed Lucie, electric bass; Mike Connors, drums; Karen Welling, backing vocals) and Steve Thomas and the Co-Conspirators (John Funkhouser, bass; Rich Greenblatt, vibes; Gary Fieldman, drums), Too Tall Trees (a vocal/bass duo with John Funkhouser), with the trios of pianists Mollly Flannery and Mark Shilansky, and with pianist Ben Schwendener around the Boston area and Portland, Maine -- at Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville, MA, Blue in Portland, ME, the Lilypad and Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA, Taylor House in Jamaica Plain, MA, the Acton Jazz Cafe, Wellesley Free Library, Zeitgeist Gallery, Rutman's Violins, Third Life Studio in Somerville's Union Square, Amazing Things Art Center in Framingham, MA, McIntyre and Moore Booksellers, and the odd house concert; with the Cambridge-based Brazilian percussion ensemble Samba Tremeterra (Cambridge River Festival and numerous parades and private functions); in the Get Up choir with pop/rock singer-songwriter Bleu (Boston Music Awards at the Wang Center, the Hatch Shell, and rock clubs the Paradise, the Middle East, and T.T. the Bear's Place).

He’s also had a parallel career as a performance artist, developing solo and collaborative pieces that combine a cappella singing, talking, and movement, with performances at Mobius, Wellesley and Middlebury Colleges, and other venues in Boston and northern Vermont. He received a Somerville Arts Council grant for his hour-long solo piece RECLAMATION PROJECT.

He’s studied theory and composition with Ben Schwendener, jazz voice with Dominique Eade, and Brazilian percussion with Jose Ricardo de Souza and Deraldo Ferreira.

Real Incognito

JOHN FUNKHOUSER (electric keyboards)
A native of the Boston, MA area, John Funkhouser (piano, bass) studied classical piano from the age of seven, and classical bass from age nine. He majored in music theory at Cornell University and returned to Boston to earn a Masters degree from New England Conservatory in jazz piano, bass and composition in 1995. After four years living in New York City, John again returned to Boston in 2000 to raise a family, perform, and teach at Berklee College of Music.

Funkhouser takes an active interest in a wide spectrum of music, including all kinds of jazz, from avant-garde to straight ahead to New Orleans Jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music, folk music of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Africa, American popular music, including funk, rock, blues, bluegrass, and hiphop, Classical from Gregorian chant to 21st century music, Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music of India, Balinese and Javanese Gamelan, and all kinds of hybrids between these various traditions.

Funkhouser is in demand as a jazz bassist and pianist, participating in an array of musical projects with the Northeast’s most accomplished and creative musicians. He has shared the stage with such luminaries as Grammy nominees Luciana Souza and Tierney Sutton, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel Sr., Max Weinberg, South Indian percussion master Trichy Sankaran, Ran Blake, Herb Pomeroy, Natraj, Yoron Israel, Laszlo Gardony, Ron Savage, Bob Gulotti, Rick Peckham, Phil Grenadier, piano savant Matt Savage, and Mark Harvey's Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. Along with Ran Blake, Herb Pomeroy and John Harbison, he was a featured soloist with the MIT Wind Ensemble’s world premier of Mark Harvey’s magnum opus, “Beyond.”

Funkhouser returned to his classical roots in 2003, joining the bass section of the New England Philharmonic under conductor Richard Pittman. The orchestra specializes in modern music, performing world premiers and 20th/21st Century music, as well as the standard Classic and Romantic repertoire. Funkhouser shared the stage with pianist Stephen Drury, and was featured in March, 2006 as section leader and as one of three soloists in Gunther Schuller’s 1991 Violin Concerto. Funkhouser has also taken an active interest in Boston’s World Jazz scene, and has performed with some of Boston’s top World Musicians, including Leo Blanco, Francisco Mela, Pablo Bencid, Steve Langone, Rebecca Cline, and Natraj.

As the leader and pianist of the John Funkhouser Trio and as a sideman, Funkhouser has toured the US several times, performing at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh's Mellon Jazz Festival, Oklahoma City's Jazz In June (as leader and headliner), and many other music festivals. He has played at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Birdland, and Dizzy’s in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Wang Center and the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, and top venues in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, and dozens of other US cities. John has performed abroad in such diverse locations as Paris, Toulon, Zurich, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Montreal. He appeared with Matt Savage on ABC’s “20/20” and twice on NBC’s “Today Show,” and several other television shows.

Funkhouser’s discography includes over 40 CDs, featuring him in various roles, including leader, pianist, bassist, arranger, and producer, including three CDs as leader/pianist of the John Funkhouser Trio, six CDs with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, five CDs with Matt Savage, two CDs with Willie Myette’s “Katahdin’s Edge,” two CDs with Pierre Hurel, and various CDs in a wide variety of styles with leaders including James Merenda, Philippe Cretien, and David Thorne Scott. Visit johnfunkhouser.com.


GREG LOUGHMAN (electric bass/bass)
Greg Loughman started playing electric bass at age fifteen in the small town of Zanesville, OH. He obtained a Bachelor of Music in the field of jazz studies at Capital University, where he studied electric and upright bass with Doug Richeson (bassist for a number of years with Tony Bennet), Jeff Ciampa, and Lou Fischer. While in college, he worked his way into the Columbus, OH jazz scene. Upon graduation, he quickly rose to a prominent position as one of the top freelance jazz bassists in the Midwest. After spending a year in Montana, Greg moved to Boston, where he continues to pursue an active schedule of performing and recording. He has performed with musicians including Curtis Fuller, JoAnne Brackeen, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Judi Silvano, Kenwood Dennard, Greg Abate, Ray Santisi, Grammy-nominated pianist Phillip Aaberg, guitarist Mimi Fox, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Carlos Malta, jazz violinist Christian Howes, singer Patti Page, actor/singer James Naughton, and the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band, among many others. His musical career has taken him on tours of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Czech Republic, and Japan. Currently, Greg leads his own jazz trio (Sinistral) and his own indie rock group Lowman, co-leads the groups Roving Soul and ManOnLand and performs with the Yoko Miwa trio, the John Funkhouser trio, Klezwoods, and many other groups. Greg is a faculty member at the University of Maine in Augusta, Bates College, and Bowdoin College, where he teaches private bass lessons, and also teaches bass lessons online via Skype and through email correspondence. Visit gregloughman.com.

The Co-Conspirators

JOHN FUNKHOUSER (bass): [See above in REAL INCOGNITO]

RICH GREENBLATT (vibraphone): Rich is a vibraphonist with "dazzling speed and a truly magical tone," writes John Blenn in Good Times Magazine. Rich synthesizes the bluesy, bebop style of Milt Jackson with the four-mallet chordal approach of Gary Burton, resulting in a warm, swinging sound all his own. He has performed and recorded with jazz artists Kurt Elling, Billy Mitchell, Kevin Hayes, Winard Harper, Dennis Irwin, and Joe Hunt. Rich has recorded two CDs as a leader on Brass Taco Records: HOT AND DRY and MOOIN'. He is currently on the faculty at Berklee College of Music and was awarded the 2006 Berklee Faculty Fellowship. For more info, see http://richgreenblatt.com

GARY FIELDMAN (drums): Percussionist, composer, teacher, and bandleader, Gary is active in a number of artistic dimensions. He has performed and recorded with some of today’s most important musicians and can be found on numerous recordings, including his own project FIELD EFFECT on Rotary Records. Gary's compositions include the narration-with-music piece “Ratty’s Loving Surprise” with the Know Trio, of which he is a member. “Ratty” is the story of a rat who leaves his affiliation with a major symphony orchestra, and the associated famouseness, to answer questions of life and art in an underground realm of jazz and philosophical inquiry. Gary also has a number of websites dedicated to his muse, including http://museaid.org, a site devoted to his annual production of a Darfur relief concert, and http://bagelsandjeff.com, a cartoon and commentary starring two dogs who offer opinions and insights on topics ranging from Mahler to the state of today’s religions to the unhealthy contents of a can of dog food. For more info, see http://garyfieldman.com.

Real Incognito

John Funkhouser - electric keyboards

A native of the Boston, MA area, John Funkhouser (piano, bass) studied classical piano from the age of seven, and classical bass from age nine. He majored in music theory at Cornell University and returned to Boston to earn a Masters degree from New England Conservatory in jazz piano, bass and composition in 1995. After four years living in New York City, John again returned to Boston in 2000 to raise a family, perform, and teach at Berklee College of Music.

Funkhouser takes an active interest in a wide spectrum of music, including all kinds of jazz, from avant-garde to straight ahead to New Orleans Jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music, folk music of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Africa, American popular music, including funk, rock, blues, bluegrass, and hiphop, Classical from Gregorian chant to 21st century music, Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music of India, Balinese and Javanese Gamelan, and all kinds of hybrids between these various traditions.

Funkhouser is in demand as a jazz bassist and pianist, participating in an array of musical projects with the Northeast’s most accomplished and creative musicians. He has shared the stage with such luminaries as Grammy nominees Luciana Souza and Tierney Sutton, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel Sr., Max Weinberg, South Indian percussion master Trichy Sankaran, Ran Blake, Herb Pomeroy, Natraj, Yoron Israel, Laszlo Gardony, Ron Savage, Bob Gulotti, Rick Peckham, Phil Grenadier, piano savant Matt Savage, and Mark Harvey's Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. Along with Ran Blake, Herb Pomeroy and John Harbison, he was a featured soloist with the MIT Wind Ensemble’s world premier of Mark Harvey’s magnum opus, “Beyond.”

Funkhouser returned to his classical roots in 2003, joining the bass section of the New England Philharmonic under conductor Richard Pittman. The orchestra specializes in modern music, performing world premiers and 20th/21st Century music, as well as the standard Classic and Romantic repertoire. Funkhouser shared the stage with pianist Stephen Drury, and was featured in March, 2006 as section leader and as one of three soloists in Gunther Schuller’s 1991 Violin Concerto. Funkhouser has also taken an active interest in Boston’s World Jazz scene, and has performed with some of Boston’s top World Musicians, including Leo Blanco, Francisco Mela, Pablo Bencid, Steve Langone, Rebecca Cline, and Natraj.

As the leader and pianist of the John Funkhouser Trio and as a sideman, Funkhouser has toured the US several times, performing at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh's Mellon Jazz Festival, Oklahoma City's Jazz In June (as leader and headliner), and many other music festivals. He has played at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Birdland, and Dizzy’s in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Wang Center and the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, and top venues in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Denver, Seattle, and dozens of other US cities. John has performed abroad in such diverse locations as Paris, Toulon, Zurich, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Montreal. He appeared with Matt Savage on ABC’s “20/20” and twice on NBC’s “Today Show,” and several other television shows.

Funkhouser’s discography includes over 40 CDs, featuring him in various roles, including leader, pianist, bassist, arranger, and producer, including three CDs as leader/pianist of the John Funkhouser Trio, six CDs with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, five CDs with Matt Savage, two CDs with Willie Myette’s “Katahdin’s Edge,” two CDs with Pierre Hurel, and various CDs in a wide variety of styles with leaders including James Merenda, Philippe Cretien, and David Thorne Scott.

Greg Loughman - electric bass, bass

Greg Loughman started playing electric bass at age fifteen in the small town of Zanesville, OH. He obtained a Bachelor of Music in the field of jazz studies at Capital University, where he studied electric and upright bass with Doug Richeson (bassist for a number of years with Tony Bennet), Jeff Ciampa, and Lou Fischer. While in college, he worked his way into the Columbus, OH jazz scene. Upon graduation, he quickly rose to a prominent position as one of the top freelance jazz bassists in the Midwest. After spending a year in Montana, Greg moved to Boston, where he continues to pursue an active schedule of performing and recording. He has performed with musicians including Curtis Fuller, JoAnne Brackeen, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Judi Silvano, Kenwood Dennard, Greg Abate, Ray Santisi, Grammy-nominated pianist Phillip Aaberg, guitarist Mimi Fox, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Carlos Malta, jazz violinist Christian Howes, singer Patti Page, actor/singer James Naughton, and the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band, among many others. His musical career has taken him on tours of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Czech Republic, and Japan. Currently, Greg leads his own jazz trio (Sinistral) and his own indie rock group Lowman, co-leads the groups Roving Soul and ManOnLand and performs with the Yoko Miwa trio, the John Funkhouser trio, Klezwoods, and many other groups. Greg is a faculty member at the University of Maine in Augusta, Bates College, and Bowdoin College, where he teaches private bass lessons, and also teaches bass lessons online via Skype and through email correspondence.