NOTE (8/25): This concert, which was originally scheduled for the Comma Courtyard, has been moved to the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall (511 W. King St.) due to smoky conditions.
Jazz Harmonica player Tom Stryker’s Impromptu performs in the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
The group is Tom Stryker, chromatic harmonica; Jimmy Vermilion, keys & vocals; Marcy Benner, vocals; Rick Metz, saxophone; and Neil Strocchio, drums. Also appearing is guest vocalist, June Joplin.
Greatly influenced by the likes of Toots Thielemans, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans and Dan Lancaster, Tom Stryker has performed both as a soloist and with various symphonies (including the Carson City Symphony), harmonica trios, and jazz bands and has appeared on television and radio shows. He has performed all over the world, from China to Hawaii to Frankfurt and from Miami to London. Also, in jazz clubs in Reno, Nevada, where he now resides. His performances on Holland America Cruise Lines, as the lead player for the Harmonica Aces, were a tremendous success. Additionally, Tom is the former two-term President of SPAH, the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica.
Tom began his musical journey in San Francisco in 1954 under the guidance of former Borah Minevitch Rascal, Ray Tankersley. He later began playing professionally with world-famous Harmonica Rascal Johnny Puleo. He went on to appear at the World Harmonica Championships in the 1980s as the lead player with Harmonica Express, a quartet of players. Yet he was still searching for “something,” until he met a local jazz musician who introduced him to a jazz combo playing in the local nightclubs in San Jose, California. He was bitten by the “bug,” and a new musical journey began.
In Tom’s view, “the mastery of jazz on the chromatic harmonica is a labor of love as it is with any instrument. Jazz is the ultimate expression of musical freedom and individuality. And on what better instrument than the harmonica, everyone’s friend?”