Primary Instrument: Vocal
Harvey Thompson, jazz vocalist, was born in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. After years of appearances in talent shows and local jazz joints and performances at Japanese concert halls and swank Turkish night spots, the Japan-based and world-traveling Thompson can rightfully be called a versatile master of jazz vocals. His first CD, entitled Jazz Is (Anything You Want It to Be), is a fine example of his polished vocal skill. With help from some of Detroit's top jazz musicians, such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and Straight Ahead's lead singer Cynthia Dewberry, Harvey shines on this CD, which continues to receive regular radio airplay.
With his silky smooth voice, comfortable stage presence, and wide repertoire, reflecting influences ranging from Johnny Hartman to Nat King Cole, Harvey Thompson can be considered the keeper of the flame of male jazz vocals. My many years of paying dues (which I am still paying!), learning my craft and improving my jazz technique, and literally singing for my supper, have paid off. Today, I'm confident in my ability to dignify the jazz idiom with my voice, Harvey says. I've been blessed to have been influenced by, met and even worked with, a wide sample of the world's best jazz talent. These experiences have helped to focus and strengthen my ongoing salute to some of the world's great composers and to the vocal tradition that makes jazz such a powerful international musical force!
The critics agree that Harvey Thompson is a special talent: USA Today says Thompson is probably the jazziest of the new crooners. The Detroit Free Press writes, Harvey Thompson's eloquent baritone voice is dark, smooth and luxurious, comparable to Joe Williams' and deeper than Billy Eckstine's. His career is poised to skyrocket. And a Chicago Tribune review of Harvey's CD states, The ingenuity of the arrangements, the stylistic breadth of the repertoire and the ebullience of the performance establish Harvey Thompson as a band leader of unusual sensitivity and musical accomplishment... He sings with as much poetry as virtuosity and stands as a potentially major talent.
Among Harvey's musical achievements are: receiving rave reviews in the Ron Milner musical Crack Steppin; numerous appearances at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival; winner of WEMU Radio's Best Jazz Vocalist competition; being named the Detroit NBC affiliate's first annual Super Singer; opening for legendary jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson; singing with the Benny Green Trio in Madrid, Spain; appearing at New York's famed Tavern on the Green with piano great Dorothy Donegan and at a follow-up engagement at the Tavern with acclaimed jazz cabaret pianist and singer, the fabulous Ms. Jo Thompson.
The recipient of the 1995 Detroit Music Award for Jazz Artist Meriting Wider Recognition, destined for great stardom, Harvey Thompson is a name to remember!