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#61 Justin Thomas- Vibraphonist for Capital Cities, Ludracris and More!

#61 Justin Thomas- Vibraphonist for Capital Cities, Ludracris and More!

This episode starts off with talking about a very important issue to all musicians. Protecting your hearing. You get two sets of teeth, but only one set of ears. For starters, here is a blog post explaining the dangers of tinnitus (the ringing you may get in your ears). After that, here is a link to different decibel meter apps (both Damon and Marcos have them on their phones to keep track of sound levels). If you choose to spend the money to get your hearing checked (recommended), you should pick an ENT (ear, nose & throat doctor) with an audiologist on staff. The hearing test should be covered by your health insurance if you are a musician, but you have to spring for the musician ear plugs (about $200). Here are some details on the advantages of getting those. If you can't afford them, no worries! There are less expensive options like THESE, and THESE

Our guest this week is vibraphonist, Justin Thomas. More on Justin later. 

The product we mentioned is the Thumb Thang, by Ed Bettinelli. 

The educational spotlight is for the Masters of the Vibes book, put together by Anthony Smith. 

Our iconic recording, "Bag's Groove" is one of the tunes featured in this NPR article that talks about the history of the vibraphone. There's more info on our iconic recording HERE

Upcoming gigs to check out are (friend of the show) Weedie Braimah playing at the Blue Note.


Marcos will be playing at Rockwood Music Hall on Sunday March 18th with Jeremy Bosch at 8.15pm. Advance tickets are available HERE. Most of the band that will be performing at Rockwood are featured in the video below......

Damon will be playing with the Charlie Hunter Trio from March 15th-31st. You can see where by clicking on this link HERE. And you may remember Charlie from playing bass and guitar on this TUNE

Music News for this week.....

How to diversify your income as a musician by friend of the show Suz Paulinski. We also talk about her company the Rock/Star Advocate. How to choose the best streaming service for you. AirBnB now offers "experiences" including smaller concerts in intimate venues (there's also the KinkBnB for "alternative" housing options. Or you can check out other intimate gigs and other types of "house concerts" all over the world with the company SoFar Sounds

The song leading into the interview is "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities.

If you are curious about the Steel Pan ensemble, there are lead pans, double seconds, triple guitar pans, and bass pans. 

While in Chicago, after graduating DePaul, Justin worked with artists like: Marquis HillMakaya McCraven and Dana Hall.

The album Justin was on for Ludacris was the "Ludaversal" album.

The music in Justin's current rotation would be DJ Tiësto, the Kaleidoscope album is one that keeps coming back.

As far as life changing albums, Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue", & Kenny Kirkland's self titled album. The Miles Davis Autobiography is a great book to check out. 

Justin also mentions Byron Lee and the DragonairesBob Marley, Lord Kitchener, and Baron.

This is the Titanic song Justin refers to. This is the hymn "Nearer my God to Thee" and the story that accompanies the song. 

Lima, Peru was a memory that Justin really enjoyed the experiences, especially the food

Honorable mention goes to Buenos Aires Argentina, Medallin Colombia, and Mexico City Mexico. 

Shoutout to John Locke of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the expert tutelage and guidance he provided to Justin. 

Some of the vibraphonists Justin has crossed paths with include: Lionel Hampton, Stefon Harris, Warren Wolf, Joe Locke, Steve NelsonDick Sisto, & Roy Ayers

Justin uses Mike Balter Mallets (shoutout to Drew Tucker). Ludwig/Musser Vibraphones & MalletKAT/Alternate Mode

You can follow Justin on Instagram and see him on tour with Capital Cities

#62 Eric Velez- Percussionist for Marc Anthony and several others!

#62 Eric Velez- Percussionist for Marc Anthony and several others!

#60 Mona Tavakoli- Percussionist for Jason Mraz, Raining Jane and More!

#60 Mona Tavakoli- Percussionist for Jason Mraz, Raining Jane and More!