THOMPSON EGBO-EGBO RELEASES NEW LIVE SINGLE GANGSTA’S PARADISE
EXCLUSIVE INTIMATE SHOW AT POETRY JAZZ CAFÉ
IN TORONTO TONIGHT
LATEST ALBUM A NEW STANDARD OUT NOW
Toronto, ON – May 4, 2018 – Following the success of his latest album, A New Standard, and packing in The Rex Hotel during his residency in March, Canadian pianist, Thompson Egbo-Egbo, shares Gangsta’s Paradise. His new live single is a brilliant cover of the Coolio classic recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern with the Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio. A chance to hear the trio in their natural habitat, the track establishes Jeff Halischuk as one of the country’s great drummers, and showcases Thompson’s versatility and unique flair. Listen to Gangsta’s Paradise here.
Thompson continues to rock city stages, and will be performing two exclusive, intimate sets tonight - Friday, May 4th - at Poetry Jazz Café in Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market neighbourhood. Tickets are available at the door, with sets at 9:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. See below for complete details on this one-night-only event.
A New Standard, released on January 19 via Entertainment One Music, is a display of Thompson’s limitless musical vision. It is the first made with his group consisting of drummer, Jeff Halischuk, and bassist, Randall Hall. Listen to the lead single, My Favourite Things, and purchase/stream the album now.
Thompson has been making his rounds to share insight on the new album, highlighted in The Whole Note as their April 2018 cover feature, an interview at CP24 Breakfast, CBC Radio One’s Fresh Air , Girth Radio’s Creative Imbalance podcast, and an in-depth feature with PRODUCT Toronto. In addition, you can learn more about Thompson’s unique career and captivating personality as a participant in FNTSY Sports Network’s new series, Draft Everything.
As A New Standard’s title playfully suggests, Egbo-Egbo’s song selection touches on relatively recent compositions by artists such as Bob Dylan and Radiohead, while deftly transforming some old favourites, with a particular nod to the legacy of John Coltrane. Interpreted another way, A New Standard represents Egbo-Egbo’s continuing evolution as a player, writer and arranger while staying true to a classic trio format.
“My approach has always been to play in a way that sounds right to me, while at the same time creating stuff that’s accessible to as many people as possible,” Egbo-Egbo says. “I don’t see it as making concessions to the pop world or any other genre. We all have unlimited access to every kind of music now, so I feel I’m in a position to add whatever elements I’m interested in to my sound.”
That range of influences is further underscored by A New Standard’s opening combination of Benny Golson’s Whisper Not from 1956 and Sing To The Moon, the title track from British artist Laura Mvula’s 2013 Mercury Prize-nominated debut. Egbo-Egbo’s arrangement of the latter is the only vocal on A New Standard, performed by Toronto singer, Nikki Ponte, whom the pianist had met in Greece after her stint on the country’s version of the television show, The X Factor. Elsewhere on the album, You Must Believe In Spring is a tip of the cap to Bill Evans, while a jaunty take of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Favela adds some Brazilian flavour to the mix.
About Thompson Egbo-Egbo
Born in Nigeria, Thompson came to Toronto with his family at the age of four and started playing piano two years later. His talents were quickly developed through a local music school, created specifically to provide neighborhood kids with affordable lessons. Egbo-Egbo went on to study Jazz Performance at Toronto’s Humber College and then, with the help of a partial scholarship and several benefactors, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for three years.
Such boundless musical curiosity and inventiveness is what continues to drive Egbo-Egbo creatively, and also motivates him to help a new generation of Toronto kids to transcend their social and economic circumstances through music, just as the Dixon Hall Music School in Regent Park helped him. Specifically, the Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo Arts Foundation has run a program in the Jane/Finch neighborhood teaching composition to kids, and has also collaborated with Regent Park urban music artist Mustafa the Poet on a video, Spectrum Of Hope, intended in part to showcase the community’s revitalization.
Egbo-Egbo’s mantra has long been that you always make the best choice if you have a choice. Perhaps it could be added that music is rarely ever the wrong choice. “I was very fortunate when I was a kid,” he says. “So I feel I kind of have a responsibility to be an example of how when you give a kid opportunities, it can lead to real results. Some people still don’t realize how isolated many communities are, so engaging with them, and encouraging others to do likewise, will always be the main goal of my Foundation, and, in essence, my music as well.”
Thompson Egbo-Egbo Trio Live at Poetry Jazz Cafe
Friday, May 4th – Poetry Jazz Café – 224 Augusta Avenue – Toronto, ON M5T2L6
1st Set: 9:30 pm
2nd Set: 11:15 pm
*Tickets available only at the door - be sure to arrive early to secure your spot.