If you know the music scene in Springfield you’ll know of or more likely have listened to the fabulous Brooke Thomas. Having just performed at the Illinois State Fair, and nearing the end of a season of outdoor gigs, Brooke and her band, Brooke Thomas and the Blue Suns, are gearing up for a busy fall. We caught up with her to find out more.
Name: Brooke Thomas
Occupation: Marketing Coordinator at Marine Bank
Band: Brooke Thomas and the Blue Suns as well as Brooke Thomas and Chris Warren acoustic duo
Vocals and/or instruments: Vocals, keys, ukulele, and guitar
When did you begin performing? I was around three or four when I started performing at church and in competitions.
What is your favorite music to perform? Jazz and soul
What is your favorite music to listen to? There's no way I can choose just one favorite! I love funk, Motown, soul, New Orleans jazz, and blues.
How often do you rehearse? Ideally every day, but that's not typically the case. I pull out my ukulele a few times a week to learn new songs and chords on it.
When did you launch the band? Brooke Thomas and the Blue Suns debuted six years ago on Christmas Eve.
Where is your favorite place in Springfield to gig and why? Bunn Gourmet because...the chocolate and wine!
What is your favorite song to sing? My originals. I think my favorite right now is The Outer Space Song.
From where do you seek inspiration? Some musicians that have inspired my original music are Eva Cassidy, Sharon Jones, Sara Bareilles, and Billie Holiday.
Tell us about your background in music? My background is rooted in Classical/Opera. I was taught classical music in elementary school, but listening to my mom sing gospel in the car every day on my way to school gave me an interesting perspective on music. I eventually went to school to be a music teacher, but my passion is in music performance. I learned so much from listening to my mom sing, but I also had many incredibly talented teachers along the way that helped me develop and deepen my musical abilities. Particularly my teacher, Kelley Woods, had the most impact because on top of being a great teacher, I often got to listen to her sing and tried to replicate her.