Primary Instrument: Piano
Singer/pianist Jo Thompson, born in Detroit, Michigan, has appeared on television and in swank nightclubs that have taken her all over the world. London, Paris, Madrid, Havana, Montreal, Hollywood, Miami and New York, are only a few of the cities that have hosted her talents. She has performed in such notable nightspots as San Souci in Cuba, The Keyboard Club in Beverly Hills, California, Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, Cafe Society, and Michael's Pub in New York. The Stork Room in London, England, and Ciro's in Miami.
Jo Thompson's successes have included such achievements as having jazz great, Lionel Hampton, present her one- woman show to benefit her late husband's scholarship fund, the Albert Dunmore Journalism Scholarship at New York's internationally acclaimed, Carnegie Hall. After performing to rave reviews at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Thompson was summoned to do her one-woman show in a Command Performance for the Queen, the Queen of Soul Music, that is, Aretha Franklin! Also, after being away from the Manhattan club scene for more than 30 years, she was held over for five weeks at New York's legendary nightclub Michaels Pub. Other club successes include gaining new fans from appearances at such noted New York night spots as Eighty-Eights, The Supper Club and Tavern On The Green.
The reviews from the New York City press proved that JoThompson is a captivating and impressive talent. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote she has a thumping vitality and a robust sense of humor. He added, stylistically, Ms.Thompson's singing falls somewhere between the blues of Alberta Hunter and the more open- hearted rhythm and blues of Ruth Brown.
Jerry Tallmer of the New York Post stated, It takes guts to make a comeback in New York after 30 years and Jo Thompson is obviously a lady with plenty of guts. She sings the familiar old songs and some not so familiar with force and flair. She is a classic, concludes Roy Sander of Back Stage. Thompson is, in a word, terrific. Amazing is another word that comes to mind., states the New York Post's Donna Coe.
Summing up, Jo Thompson takes Manhattan, New York's Amsterdam News, theatrical critic, Herb Boyd, wrote, An evening with songstress/pianist Jo Thompson is to experience a veritable cavalcade of great entertainers. Depending on the song or her interpretation, the likes of Louis Satchmo Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, the Mills Brothers, Nellie Lutcher or Fats Wailer are conjured. (Michael's Pub owner Gil Wiest said, If you close your eyes when Jo Thompson is doing a WaIler tune, its as if Fats WaIler was actually at the piano. Remarkable!) Boyd concluded his review by saying, Jo Thompson is a consummate storyteller whether standing or at the keyboard. Indeed, Jo Thompson is remarkable!
Jo Thompson brings to each performance more than 50 years worth of experience. She is a definitive entertainer extraordinaire. Her style of music and entertainment is a classic musical blend of time-tested songs, humor, sophistication, glamour and beauty. Shirley Eder, columnist in the Detroit Free Press and the 1990 recipient of the Publicists Guild of America's National Press Award states, To me, Jo Thompson is a piano playing Lena Horne, a singing Hazel Scott and/or a combination of all the wonderful talents of which Bobby Short is made. She possesses that certain indefinable quality that lifts a super talent into upper- crust entertainment. Three words best describe Ms. Jo Thompson - SOPHISTICATION, TALENT AND EXCITEMENT!!!