Bert Thompson

Born in Dundee, Scotland, Bert Thompson came to the U.S. in 1956. After a two-year stint playing drums with the 101 st Airborne Division Band and making a number of parachute drops, he returned to civilian life in San Francisco, matriculating at San Francisco State University where he earned a B.A. and an M.A. He went on to matriculate at University of Oregon, where he earned a D.A. and a Ph.D., all of his degrees in English. Now retired, he is a professor emeritus of English at City College of San Francisco. He is also a retired traditional jazz drummer, having played with a number of San Francisco Bay Area bands, including And That’s Jazz, Professor Plum’s Jazz, the Jelly Roll Jazz Band, Mission Gold Jazz Band, and the Zenith New Orleans Parade band; he also played with some further afield, including Gremoli (Long Beach, CA) and the Phoenix Jazzers (Vancouver, B.C.) Today he reviews traditional jazz CDs and writes occasional articles for several publications.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe Sensational

The Sensational Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Having recorded with various jazz bands and orchestras over the years, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was well-known to jazz fans. In addition to her appearances with

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

The names of Peter Bocage and Emilé Barnes are not as well known as those of others who figured more prominently in the New Orleans

Potato Head Jazz Band Stompin Around

Potato Head Jazz Band Stompin’ Around

Formed in 2003 in Grenada, Spain, the Potato Head Jazz Band has stayed somewhat under the radar—my radar, at least—until now, and that is unfortunate

Ted Shafer Jelly Roll Jazz Band

Ted Shafer (1925-2019)

For several decades, now, Ted Shafer has been something of an institution in traditional jazz in the San Francisco Bay Area. The message on his

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