“Jovano Jovanke” is one of the most beautiful melodies I know. It is a traditional song of the Macedonia region, beloved by many in the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, the Macedonia region of Greece and around the world. The music is redolent of longing, love, and the intertwining of nature in the midst of humanity. Thanks to director Boris Stefanov and videographer Igor Myakotin.
Music meditation… for the beauty of the day… for strength… for peace…
An original composition… filmed in San Miguel de Allende, Gto., México
“Meditation 1” is available online on the recording Composing Myself: original music by John Thomas
I composed “Lullaby” for one of the two great dog companions in my life. I hope that it is as gentle and kind as he was and as his spirit continues to be with me.
“Lullaby” is available on the recording Composing Myself: original music by John Thomas
Camille Saint-Saëns – composer, organist, conductor, pianist – is well known for The Carnival of the Animals, a delightful series of short pieces for eleven musicians about various animals, birds… and fish. My piano version of “Aquarium” is always different each time I play it: the music is the essence of the shape of water, always changing, moving, with hundreds of beautifully colored fish undulating in an environment we can scarcely imagine.
John Thomas & Mauro Ledesma, duo piano
Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (1921-1992), the great Argentine composer and bandoneon player, musical revolutionary, world traveler and ambassador of melody and rhythm, said: “Tango was always for the ear rather than the feet.” Mauro’s and my performances of this great composition are always a bit different, as is each new day, filled with the rhythms and melodies of life.
John Thomas & Mauro Ledesma, duo piano
Leonardo Velázquez was born in 1935 in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. His family was from a community of great musical traditions, Villa Hidalgo Yalalag, a Zapotec town in the Sierra de Juárez. Velázquez is known as a great defender of Mexican musical nationalism. “Humoresca” is the first of his Tres piezas para piano a cuatro manos. It’s fun to play this jaunty, happy music together.
John Thomas & Richard Dowling: Piano Duo! Fireworks on the ivories! Pianistic pyrotechnics! Celebrating great American (and international) composers! Irving Berlin… Zez Confrey… George Gershwin… Louis Moreau Gottschalk… Scott Joplin… John Philip Sousa… & more! We’d love to play them for YOU!
More, sokol pie ~ Море, сокол пие ~ Behold, a falcon is drinking
“A falcon is drinking water in the River of Vardar. Oh, you falcon, you brave bird. Haven’t you seen a brave man pass by…?”
This traditional song from the Balkans is very popular in Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia. The song probably originated in 1837; Bulgarian singer Baba Nastia Pavlova made the first recording in 1940. It was a pleasure to make this music video. Music has no borders.
John Thomas, piano ~ Simeon Petrov, guitar
Judy Brubaker was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a young woman she made her way to Los Angeles where she became an actress and singer. After appearing in several films, including one of the most notorious camp cinema classics of all time, Untamed Women (1952), Judy moved to Chicago and continued her performance career. Judy and I have made music together for many years. We made nine videos in one morning session in October 2016 when she was 92 years old. She is still going strong. Thanks to David A. Cox who made these delightful short films with us.
Judy Brubaker and I connect so easily when we make music together. It is always a joy, and she keeps me on my toes. Her music mash-ups with Bulgarian singer Elena Mancheva are a Provincetown legend. Although Judy always delivers finely crafted and meticulous vocal performances, she is equally adept at instant “in the moment” improvisation that delights and even astonishes us. Judy lives the mantra: it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.