Episode 32: Thompson Egbo-Egbo

Thompson Egbo-Egbo’s latest album, A New Standard, was released on January 19

A New Standard is Thompson Egbo-Egbo’s inaugural release as a new signee to Entertainment One, and the first recorded with his group consisting of drummer, Jeff Halischuk, and bassist, Randall Hall. Great tracks to start with include My Favourite Things (from The Sound Of Music), Radiohead’s Exit Music and Lo Baiom Velo Balyla, a Hebrew love song The album is a collection of traditional and contemporary compositions from artists such as Bob Dylan and Radiohead, while deftly transforming old favourites.

Born in Nigeria, Thompson moved to Toronto with his family when he was four, and began his piano journey at age six. He developed his talents through a local music school before studying Jazz Performance at Toronto’s Humber College, and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he lived for three years. He has composed music for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, performed with the London production of the popular Canadian stage play, Da Kink In My Hair, and played for Quincy Jones, along with Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Prince Phillip. He has also toured and recorded with Toronto artists, SATE and Merna. In 2007, he produced a medley for the year’s Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a class that included Joni Mitchell. A lover of fashion and travel (he is fond of Greece, and lived there for a period while studding at Berklee), food, and sports as an avid soccer and basketball player, Thompson is not only a Renaissance man, but possesses a truly philanthropic soul. Growing up in Regent Park, the Dixon Hall Music School helped him excel in his art form, so he is motivated to help a new generation of Toronto kids transcend their social and economic circumstances through music. He runs a program through the Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo Arts Foundation in the Jane/Finch neighbourhood teaching composition to children, and has also collaborated with fellow Regent artist, Mustafa The Poet on a video honouring the community, and its revitalization, called Spectrum of Hope.