Throwback Thursday: Leon Thomas & the JB’s @ SOB’s – June 20 & 21, 1990

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes us back to the very first Groove Academy show with Leon Thomas and The JB’s in June 1990.

This was the very first Groove Academy show. Before I started working with my original partner, Jonathan Rudnick, I was doing clubs and parties in New York. And where possible, I tried to incorporate live music into my events. There were really only a couple of nightclub venues that had the live music capability, though – MK and Nell’s.

I’d often fly around on my roller skates to drop off show flyers promoting my parties. During one of my runs, a friend of mine who owned a boutique in the East Village told me about a musician friend of hers who looking to make a comeback. And once she told me her friend was Leon Thomas, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Leon was a jazz singer who’d worked with artists like Pharoah Sanders and Santana. He also had his own albums on the Flying Dutchman label in the 1970s, but you really needed to be a bit of a crate digger to know who he was.

Read the rest after the jump

Soul Power Featuring James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King and more, Opens in NYC & LA

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Soul Power, a documentary by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, depicts the legendary music festival in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974 which sprouted from the excitement surrounding the epic fight between Mohammad Ali and George Foreman. The award-winning film features original footage of performances by James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King, The Spinners, Celia Cruz & The Fania All-Stars, and many more…