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Music has loomed large in Synia Carroll's life since her childhood in Philadelphia where at four years of age she first began writing her own songs, performing with school and church groups. Later, Carroll developed an interest in jazz when she began her association with the Brian Butler Group performing in Connecticut. She discovered her love for jazz standards and the great artists who performed them. Since Synia has been in the Tampa Bay area, she has become a favorite of jazz fans.
Theonita Valentin (Theo), born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, started singing solo in church at age five. That gospel style served to bolster Valentin's ability at performance. Singing through her educational years in high school, Theo majored in voice and minored in piano in college at Norfolk State University. Touring around the world and to military troops overseas, her journeys have brought her to the Tampa Bay area. These charming and talented ladies will be performing together for the first time at The Side Door. Prepare yourself for a delightful evening of songs and quips.
Adding to the melody and mirth of this show will be John Lamb, bass. Specializing in the tuba as a youngster, Lamb became a string bass player when he joined the United States Air Force Band. Known also for his close association with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, St. Petersburg has been fortunate to have him as a music educator in our public schools and at St. Petersburg College.
Also performing with Carroll and Valentin will be Richard "STretch" Bruyn on piano. Has been active in the Tampa Bay music scene since arriving from NY state in 2003. A native Floridian from Miami, STretch studied with Vince Maggio at the University of Miami and later with David Baker while attending Indiana University. He has shared the stage with local jazz greats including Whitney James, James Suggs, Jeremy Carter, Michael Ross, John Jenkins, and national greats Mark Murphy, and Michael Formanek. STretch continues to spread the "gospel according to Jazz" to all who will listen.
Ron Gregg, drums will also be on board for "Two Souls of Jazz" and like all the others in this concert, Ron's love for music began at a young age. He played in school bands as a percussionist. He enlisted in the U. S. Army and received musical instruction and played in the United States Army Band. In the Tampa Bay area Ron has played in long-running shows and with music groups including working with the phenomenal Al Downing
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