It’s been 10 years since Tommy Gearhart has performed a headline show in Albuquerque.
The former Albuquerque resident will take the stage at the Historic Lobo Theater in Nob Hill at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 with his new recording, “Notes of Love.”
The night is produced and arranged by George Darrah. Backing Gearhart is a jazz trio consisting of John Funkhouser, Colin Deuble and Chase Ellison.
Ellison, an Albuquerque native, is also returning home after earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts at New York’s prestigious Eastman School of Music. Gearhart and Ellison collaborated for many years while in Albuquerque.
Also backing Gearhart will be a string quartet and a very special guest, the legendary jazz trumpeter Bobby Shew, who has performed alongside numerous jazz luminaries, including Tommy Dorsey, Art Pepper and Buddy Rich. The performance will highlight many of the songs featured on the record, including “Time After Time,” “My Foolish Heart” and “Lush Life.”
Gearhart is excited to finally present “Notes of Love” to an audience.
Originally arranged for orchestras, Gearhart says it’s been arranged for that of a jazz trio.
“This will be the world premiere,” Gearhart says. “I can’t think of a better place to premiere it. I’ve performed at the Lobo Theater and it’s been a decade since I’ve almost been there. It’s going to be a different kind of show. There are phenomenal collaborations with Chase.”
Though Gearhart is originally from Toledo, Ohio, he considers Albuquerque a home. He performed for years while attending the University of New Mexico.
He’s cut his teeth in music learning from masters and legends in the Detroit and Toledo jazz scene.
Deeply rooted in the blues, Detroit swing feel, and ballad tradition, he interjects that great foundation into timeless and beautiful music that is familiar but textured to the listener. The mentorship he received from fellow Toledoan and jazz legend Jon Hendricks taught Gearhart the necessary ins and outs of the music and the music business, giving him the confidence and skill to perform successfully at clubs in the epicenter of jazz in New York City.
For years, Gearhart performed his singular style of jazz swing in numerous local venues, including Vernon’s Speakeasy, Outpost Performance Space and Q Bar, along with spots at the New Mexico Jazz Festival and Santa Fe’s Music on the Hill Outdoor Jazz Concert Series at St. John’s College.
Of course, Gearhart became known as the well-dressed, 6 foot 5 inch jazz crooner who belted out classic jazz from the American Songbook.
“This show has so much depth,” says Gearhart of the show. “I want it to be beautiful because New Mexico means so much to me.”