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The Jazz Room @ the Stage Door Theater

Jon Thornton plays Chet Baker

Aug 19, 2016 Stage Door Theater

  • Pricing:
    $12 in advance, $15 at the door
  • Presented by:


After much-acclaim and sold-out performances, Charlotte’s Jazz Arts Initiative’s (JAI) monthly series—The Jazz Room @ The Stage Door Theater – is swingin’ through the summer with a tribute to the legendary trumpeter Chet Baker played by the acclaimed Jon Thornton. The Stage Door Theater is part of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, at the corner of 5th and College in Uptown Charlotte.

Jon Thornton is a professional trumpeter with broad musical interests. His career has led him to play with some giants of jazz music including Dizzy Gillespie, Marian McPartland, Donald Byrd, Herb Ellis, Louis Bellson, Natalie Cole and almost too many others to count. He also had the distinguished honor to tour with Max Roach. He enjoys anything from orchestral playing to chamber music. He has made it a point throughout his career to teach and mentor several students who have become great trumpet players. “Heavily steeped in the Big Band tradition, Jon has performed with some of the finest and biggest big band names. Performances and tours have included those with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable tour, Les Elgart and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Jon later teamed up with fellow Woody Herman band alumnus Billy Spencer to form the Charlotte Jazz Orchestra which has been going strong for nearly 20 years.”

“Jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker was born on December 23, 1929, in Yale, Oklahoma. He rose to stardom in the 1950s with Gerry Mulligan's quartet and then as a bandleader.” He recorded "Walkin' Shoes," "Bernie's Tune" and "My Funny Valentine early in his career, but encountered personal and professional difficulties after developing a heroin addiction. After issues with drug addiction he rose back to stardom with the help of Dizzy Gillespie. He returned to Europe in 1975 until his death in 1988. These years’ people say that he put out his best work despite his personal issues.

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