“Joy to Lewisburg with Bob Thompson and Friends” returns to the Greenbrier Valley on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. The annual concert will feature Christmas classics and holiday favorites performed by West Virginia Music Hall of Fame member Thompson and his band with special guests Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. and Kamron Lawson.
Guests are invited to come early to Club Carnegie from 6 to 6:45 p.m. in the Board Room located adjacent to the Hamilton Auditorium. A cash bar and snacks are available.
West Virginia music hall of fame pianist Bob Thompson is perhaps the state’s best-loved musician and ambassador of jazz. He has touched many people’s lives both as an entertainer and a teacher.
Born in New York in 1942, he moved to West Virginia in the mid-’60s to attend West Virginia State College. Growing up in NY, he sang in street corner doo-wop bands and originally attended WVSC on a scholarship to study trumpet and music education. After switching to piano, he quickly became a staple on the local scene with bands like the Modern Jazz Interpreters and Joi.
After some independent releases, he signed to Capitol Records subsidiary Intima and later to the Ichiban label. Two of his albums climbed into the Top 25 in Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart while four of his releases made their way into the Top 10 on the Radio and Records jazz chart. Those nationally released works furthered his reputation significantly.
In the meantime, he performed in Brazil, South Africa, and Scandinavia. Appearances on BET, as the house pianist on the NPR show Mountain Stage, and several tours abroad have made Thompson a visible presence in the jazz world for more than 40 years. In addition, for the past decade Thompson’s annual holiday jazz show Joy to the World has become a regular feature of Public Radio International’s holiday programming.
He will be joined on the Hamilton Auditorium Stage by season six winner of NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. He is from Logan, WV, and is known as the “Soul and Sinatra” singer.
The former car washer’s Columbia Records debut album produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart. Landau’s follow-up holiday CD “Christmas Made for Two” raised thousands for the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia and received nationwide airplay including Sirius/XM’s “Holly” channel.
Landau has performed dozens of sold-out concerts around the world, headlining at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Apollo Theater in New York, The Grove in Hollywood (for Tina Sinatra), the Fountainbleu in Miami Beach, with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai China, and for U.S. troops stationed across Europe.
He has performed with living legends including Patti Labelle, George Benson, and former members of the Temptations, Platters and Drifters. He has appeared on CNN, HLN, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, Tom Joyner, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Wendy Williams, and dozens other top media outlets.
Landau was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Jaycees and West Virginian of the Year in his home state for his assistance in raising millions for those in need.
Also joining Thompson will be another fellow West Virginian, Kamron Lawson. He is the Beckley native who wowed the judges this season on American Idol and became a viral internet sensation when he auditioned and won the hearts of viewers all over America.
Tickets to the performance are $32/A-Section adult and $30/B-Section adult. Discounts are available for Carnegie Hall members, students, senior citizens, and military.
To purchase tickets, call Carnegie Hall Box Office at 304-645-7917, visit www.carnegiehallwv.org, or stop by at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg. Carnegie Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Joy to Lewisburg with Bob Thompson and Friends is made possible with support from the Casasanta Foundation.