Featuring special guest vocalist Meredith Dean Augustin
2015 West Virginia Music Hall inductee Bob Thompson is perhaps the state’s best-loved musician and ambassador of jazz. He has touched many people’s lives both as an internationally known entertainer and a teacher.
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 two decades Thompson’s annual holiday jazz show Joy to the World has become a regular feature of Public Radio International’s holiday programming.
Meredith Dean Augustin
“When she sings, I feel close to God!” These words have been used to describe listening to Meredith. Love flows through her–and her voice touches hearts. A West Virginia girl, who grew up in Morgantown, Meredith began playing the piano and singing at a very young age. She describes, “My mom taught piano lessons while I was in her womb. I think it started there. When I was two, my mom and dad told me it was time to give up my pacifier, and I could sing myself to sleep…. I haven’t stopped.”
After completing her Masters of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from West Virginia University, Meredith’s musical activities began leading her to New York City, where she eventually made her home. Currently, she is the Director of Music at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in midtown Manhattan. Meredith reflects, “In the last15years, my job has allowed me to come face to face with so many beautiful people from so many beautiful cultures. It certainly has helped me evolve personally, as well as musically.”
A rare artist who appeals to fans of all genres–particularly jazz/world/Christian–Meredith has been blessed to collaborate with musicians from all over the world, in particular, Haiti. She has collaborated with many liturgical composers and is featured on records with John Angotti, Tom Kendiza, and Chris DeSilva to name a few. Meredith also has released four solo records entitled: What’s Goin’ On, Deep River, Come and Go With Me, and Boundless Mercy. When she is no ton the road presenting workshops and concerts at conferences throughout the country, Meredith can be found performing quarterly shows in New York City, selling out jazz clubs such as Club Bonafide, Gin Fizz, and the Triad Theatre, to name a few. In the jazz world she has performed with Etienne Stadwijk, John Benitez, Dave Kikoski, Axel Tosca and many others. Meredith has been a featured singer on Mountain Stage: Joy to the Word with Bob Thompson, and she recently made her TV debut on Good Morning America singing background vocals with the legendary Patti LaBelle.