Born: November 21, 1937 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Thales Thomas “Skipp” Pearson, South Carolina’s ambassador of Jazz Music, played professionally for the first time at the age of 14, leading his first commercial band at age 15.
Upon completion of his formal education, Pearson spent 4 years in the United States Air Force. An enlisted man, with a distinguished military career, Pearson also performed professionally throughout the United States and in Western Europe while faithfully serving his country.
In 1965, Pearson enrolled in Claflin College, now Claflin University, to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. As career educator, Pearson has taught scores of public school children the importance, and benefits of having music in their lives. For 30 years, Pearson served as the general music teacher, as well as, band director in Bamberg and Clarendon School Districts, building the first band programs, that still survives today, to children in those areas. After many years of community service activities, Pearson officially retired from the South Carolina National Guard Band in November of 1997.
Over the years, Pearson amazing professional career has allowed him to share the stage with renowned musicians to include: Sam Cooke, Wycliffe Gordon, Patti LaBelle, Chris Potter, Otis Redding, Patti Austin, Drink Smalls, Fred Wesley, Pete Neighbour, Dick Goodwin, Ron Westray, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and many, many others.
Pearson numerous professional music credits include, and are not limited to, performances given in Western Europe and across the United States. In 1998, Pearson was inducted into the South Carolina Jazz Music Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career Pearson has been the subject of numerous South Carolina Public TV programs, local, regional and statewide news articles, and interviewed by syndicated radio and television talk shows hosts.
In 2002, 2004 and 2006 the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate presented Pearson with a commendation in honor of his extraordinary contributions to the world of jazz music and to congratulate him on an outstanding career and to name him South Carolina’s ambassador of jazz music.
Finally, in 2003 Pearson, received the state of South Carolina’s highest artistic honor; the distinguished Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for individuals artistic excellence.
Awards:Endorsing Artist Selmer Paris 2010 Official Ambassador of Jazz Music for the State of South Carolina 2003 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for Life Achievement
Monday Night Guest Jazz Series: Skipp Pearson Live at the Handlebar
Tracks: Blue Monk; Moonlight In Vermont; There Will Never Be Another You; Angel Eyes; Good Bait; Dreamsville.
Skipp Pearson: Tenor Sax and Vocals, Keith Davis: Piano, Mike Holstein: Bass, Johnny Goodlett: Trumpet on 3, Charlie Parker: Trumpet and Flugelhorn, Monty Craig: Guitar, Sonny Thornton: Drums and Cymbals.
Columbia-Greenville-Savannah Meeting: Live At The Handlebar
Tracks: Bye Bye Blackbird; Green Dolphin Street; Peace; Oleo; My One and Only Love.
Skipp Pearson: Sax, Teddy Adams: Trombone, Monty Craig: Guitar, Keith Davis: Piano, Mike Holstien: Acoustic Bass, Sonny Thornton: Drums and Cymbals.
Skipp Pearson Trio: Jessie and Me 37 Years 1968-2005
Tracks: The Days of Wine and Roses; Moonlight in Vermont; Here's the Rainy Day; Back at the Chicken Shack; Misty; Sugar; Black Orpheus.
Skipp Pearson: Tenor Sax, Jessie Wilson: Hammond B3, Sonny Thornton: Drums, with Special Guest Artists Charlie Parker: Flute, and Monty Craig: Guitar on track 7.
Christmas with Skipp Pearson and Friends 2005
Seeing Eye Productions
Tracks: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Instrumental); Deck The Halls (Instrumental); Carol of the Bells (Ukranian Carol); Glory to the Newborn King; Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental); The Christmas Song (Vocal Solo); O'Holy Night (Sax and Vocal Solos); Jingle Bells (Instrumental).
Skipp Pearson: Sax, Michael Feltion: Organ, Frances Burns United Methodist Church Choir: Vocals.
Vintage Years with Skipp Pearson and Friends, Part I
Seeing Eye Productions
Tracks: Caravan; Little Sunflower; Poinciana; My Funny Valentine; Green Dolphin Street; In the Mood; What a Wonderful World; Misty; Take the A Train; When the Saints Go Marching In.
Skipp Pearson: Sax, Reggie Sullivan: Bass, Dustin Retzlaff: Bass, Antoine Miles; Piano, Buzz Clifford: Piano, Richard Cox: Drums, Ivan Edwards: Drums, Teddy Linder: Drums.
Vintage Years Part 2
Seeing Eye Productions
Tracks: It Don't Mean A Thing; Sweet Georgia Brown; Black & Blue; Up the Lazy River; You Can't Take That Away From Me; My Funny Valentine; It's Wonderful.
Skipp Pearson: Alto and Tenor Sax, Pete Neighbor: Clarinet and Alto Sax, Stefan Custodi: Bass, Dustin Retzlaff: Bass, Reggie Sullivan: Bass, Teddy Linder: Drums, Sonny Thornton: Drums, Lee Baily: Piano, Keith Davis: Piano, Bradley Jepson: Trombone.
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.