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.”

Listen to Angela Verbrugge: Love for Connoisseurs

Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag in 1989 and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we grew to become The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles of today's top musicians are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz contains 43 more! Lew 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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