Mike Thornton, the actor/singer who plays Presidents from Bush to Trump with The Capitol Steps, and the Berkshires-based jazz quartet Gruppo Mondo, will record an album of jazz standards before a live audience on Thursday, September 28 at 7PM at the Egremont Barn, 17 Main Street, South Egremont, MA.
Thornton, a member of the political satire group The Capitol Steps for over twenty years, met the musicians of Gruppo Mondo two summers ago, when The Capitol Steps was doing a summer residency at Cranwell in Lenox. “I discovered Gruppo Mondo at a Pittsfield jazz club, and we began to do occasional sets together, after I’d finished playing singing and dancing politicians”
Thornton decided that he wanted to record material for his upcoming jazz standards album Top Standards on the MTA label with Gruppo Mondo from a venue located in The Berkshires. “I grew up north of Hartford, and spent time in The Berkshires. I’ve performed annually in Lenox with The Capitol Steps, and I’ve gotten to know the artists in the Berkshires.”
Thornton, now based in Washington, DC, attended Hartt School, University of Hartford, where he studied voice and theater and had the opportunity to study with the great Jackie McLean. At the age of 19, he sang with Uptown Sound– a “Manhattan Transfer” style group featuring intricate harmonies and sophisticated arrangements by the former Glenn Miller Band arranger, Ed Cerveney. Before joining The Capitol Steps in 1995, Mike appeared in several Off-Broadway productions, the American premiere of Blood Brothers., and the Kennedy Center production of Shear Madness in Washington, DC. His Jazz Quartet performed in many of New York City’s major venues and his Jazz Collective performs regularly in Washington, DC. His most recent CD of standards is Step Back. on the MTA label. For information on Mike Thornton: http://www.mikethorntonjazz.com/. .
Gruppo Mondo is a Premiere Live Jazz/Funk Group based in The Berkshires & Hudson Valley, NY. Gruppo Mondo featuring Peter Primamore on keyboards, Aaron Dean on tenor sax,, Tom Major on drums, and Fran Tokarz on bass is a powerhouse Jazz & Rock band with a unique take on a wide variety of music. From straight ahead Swing and Latin Music to one of a kind re-imaginings of classic rock and unique originals, Gruppo Mondo delivers intense performances with unpredictable improvisations. For information on Gruppo Mondo: www.facebook.com/GruppoMondo/