Joe Thomas, “The Ebony Godfather”, has died at 84

Joe Thomas, "The Ebony Godfather", has died at 84JOE THOMAS, 84, on July 26. As a child, he learned to play alto and soprano saxophone, trombone, flute and piano, and taught himself to write music.

After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he formed the Rhonda Scott Trio and later his own group where he played the saxophone and flute. He was known as “The Ebony Godfather.”

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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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