Every year, Zeitgeist’s Playing it Close to Home concerts gives us the opportunity
to celebrate the plentiful musical creativity that abounds in our
community. This year, we’re going
to shine our musical spotlight on our dear friend, Carei Thomas.
ability and command of his craft are exceptional and his influences are
positively dizzying. His compositions exhibit a keen command of the western
classical tradition and American jazz. He will bounce with ease from Coltrane
to Satie, Prokofiev to Parker, utilizing all of music history to create his own
unique creations. Almost without exception, his music is joyful, and often
portrays people or tableaux he conjures from the communities in which he has
lived or the people with whom he is playing. . . . Thomas takes great pleasure
in using his talents to improve his community and enable people around him to
further their musical and human potential. He is truly a Twin Cities’ treasure,
and we are delighted to jump into the fray with him once again and share his
artistry with our audience. (Quotes from Zeitgeist, 2011)
Carei F. Thomas
Permission to use the following Reviews and Quotes has been received.
Tom Surowicz in a Twin Cities Reader article said, "Thomas' music is playful, harmonious, energetic, dynamic, buoyant, and one-of-a-kind. It's more life-affirming than a bushel of stuffy string quartets, or a Sahara of dry computer compositions. Thomas' work is indeed macro, beaming out in a multitude of directions." And, Mr. Surowicz in another Reader article said, "Carei Thomas' fanciful original jazz is one of the most joyous noises the Twin Cities musical community has to offer."
Dr. Carleton Macy, Music Chair at Macalester College, said the following about Carei's work: "Thomas' compositions are unusual and multi-faceted; they encompass an historic range of musical styles, expressing social and personal experiences and observations. Carei brings with him an infectious sense of community and unity of purpose which is likewise communicated in his music."
"[Thomas'] user-friendly compositions lighten the theoretical rigor of avant-jazz with playful humor and friendly tunefulness."
- Cecile Cloutier, City Pages
"It seems that every few years, some unknown treasure of American improvised music pops up after decades of toil in relative obscurity... this is fine, passionate music... a pleasant surprise, and [it] will surely please listeners as it did me." - Jason Bivins, Cadence
"Carei Thomas' music is a beautiful challenge. I've played his music for 21 years. His music reflects yesterday, today and the future." - Donald Washington, Musician/Educator
"Carei F. Thomas is one of the rare composers whose music possesses highly personal contemporary techniques, yet, never loses contact with humanity. I have followed his multidisciplinary approach since 1991 and continue to be impressed with his ability to link his music and personal intensity with community spirit." - T.J. Anderson, Professor of Music Emeritus at Tufts University.
"Among the many facets to Carei Thomas are philosopher, visionary, artist, improviser of spoken word, theoretician, pianist, singer. He's an alchemist of synesthesia and synchronicity in which a simple fragrance can transform into colors, emotions, images. The amazing thing about Carei is his ability to translate these things into music. They are remarkable and expansive compositions, which he has taught to the many musicians who have played with him over the past half-century. Now, with this book of his collected works, this important music is finally accessible to everyone." - John Minczeski, Poet.
"Carei Thomas is one of America's most original and eclectic composition voices writing today. Long loved and recognized, his work for many years has been emanating from the heart of the American Midwest . . . Thomas' music is arresting, memorable and profound, all matched by the zeal of his artistic personality and humanity." - Dr. Bill Banfield, Composer