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Best Jazz Artist 

Reggie Thomas

Other jazz musicians in town may perform more often, but Reggie Thomas makes each club gig or concert appearance count for the maximum. Whether he's providing sensitive accompaniment for his vocalist wife Mardra, playing driving, bluesy soul-jazz with his organ trio OGD or running the musical gamut from avant-garde to bebop to R&B behind baritone sax giant Hamiet Bluiett, Thomas is an uncommonly versatile virtuoso who can handle just about any jazz style. An inventive and swinging player on both piano and organ, Thomas is also an associate professor of music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Let's hope he'll choose to venture out of the classroom and on to local stages a bit more often.

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