Larry Reni Thomas

Larry Reni’s Contributions

09/17/12    Community Articles


Listen to WCOM-FM (, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina, September 23, 2012, from 9pm to 12 midnight, for The John Coltrane Birthday Special with host Larry Reni Thomas. The program will feature three hours of John Coltrane’s music and the...

08/04/12    Community Articles

Second John Coltrane Festival Set For Labor Day 2012 In His Hometown Of High Point, North Carolina! by Larry Reni Thomas

The Friends of John Coltrane of High Point, North Carolina presents the second year of another fine, fun-filled event to honor High Point's pride and joy, This year's concert features The George Duke/ Stanley Clarke Project, Poncho Sanchez, Shemekia Copeland...

08/04/12    Community Articles

The Second John Coltrane Festival Set for September 1, 2012 in Trane's hometown, High Point, NC by Larry Reni Thomas

The Friends of John Coltrane proudly presents the second annual edition of the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival! This one is bound to be the best festival on the East Coast and is a perfect way to honor High Point's pride and joy!

06/27/12    Albums

CD Review: Joe Chambers Moving Pictures Orchestra (Savant Records) by Larry Reni Thomas

This quite enjoyabe recording displays another side of the very talented historic musician-one if being a composer and a large ensemble leader.

06/14/12    Community Articles

3rd Annual Ocean City Beach (NC) Jazz Festival by Larry Reni Thomas

The Earnest Turner Quartet will headline this family-oriented, fun-filled musical afternoon on historic, Ocean City Beach, North Carolina, which was developed by African Americans in the 1940s. The opening act is The Frog Project.

02/23/12    Community Articles

Heath Brothers Homecoming Celebration in Wilmington, North Carolina

Jazz greats Jimmy and Albert Heath will be celebrated as they perform in the place were their father was born and where their famous, big brother, bassist, Percy was also born. It was also where Jimmy played in the high school band and where he first decided...

02/22/12    Community Articles


"Sunday Night Jazz" WCOM-FM, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina, 103.5 FM ( presents "Dexter Gordon Radio Special," which three hours of the great saxophonist/composer's music. His step-son, Woody Shaw III, will call the show from New...

12/17/11    Community Articles


1. Larry Vuckovich--Somethin Special--Tetrachord Records 2. Alphonse Mouzon--Angel Face--Tenacious 3. Helio Alves--Musica--Jazz Legacy 4. Etienne Charles--Kaiso--Culture Shock 5. Terence Blanchard/Poncho Sanchez--ChanoY Dizzy--Concord 6. Rita Edmond--A Glance...

12/16/11    Community Articles

Woody Shaw Birthday Radio Special on WCOM-FM (12/18/11, 9p-12m) with Woody Shaw III

An early birthday wish and radio special on WCOM-FM's "Sunday Night Jazz with Larry Reni Thomas." The exciting program will consist of three hours of the music of trumpet great, North Carolina native Woody Shaw, and will also include a scheduled interview...

10/05/11    Community Articles

Book Review: African Rhythms by Randy Weston and Willard Jenkins (Duke University Press)

Jazz master Randy Weston's autobiography is a skillfully written testament to an artist with much discipline, purpose and humility. He is scheduled to appear at Duke University October 20-21, 2011, for booksigning, artist-in-residence and solo concert.

09/22/11    Community Articles

2011-2012 Jazz Season In Triangle North Carolina One Of The Best Yet!

This thriving, multi-cultural, fun-filled area, called Triangle, North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) with its two 24-hour jazz stations (WNCU, WSHA), several college and university jazz studies and student jazz ensembles, several clubs that offer...

07/21/11    Albums

CD Review: "Shine" by Shana Tucker (Mama Gooch Music)

Shine is the latest solo recording from the multi-talented, vocalist, Shana Tucker, who also plays the cello, guitar on this bright, busy, bluesy, jazzy album. This is a cd full of Tucker’s compositions, insightful autobiographical titles, like the upbeat...


07/20/11    Albums

Angel Face
Alphonse Mouzon

Larry Reni Thomas reviews new album from drummer and composer Alphonse Mouzon

05/28/11    Albums

CD Review: Sometimes Forgotten. Sometimes Remembered by Mansur Scott Harlem Quartet (PAO Records)

Heavenly music from vocalist extraordinaire, long-time Harlem resident Mansur Scott! This album has been years in the making and includes an outstanding, pleasurable selection of standards and an original dedicated to Coltrane. Strong storytelling by...

02/08/11    Community Articles


Jimmy Heath returns to the state where his father was born and where he and his brother Percy went to Williston High School, Wilmington, North Carolina. It was at Williston that Jimmy first picked up the saxophone and where he played in the schols marching...

01/27/11    Community Articles


The Triangle region of North Carolina, in the central piedmont, is boiling over with jazz concerts, festivals, clinics and clubs galore. This spring season 2011 looks like one of the best in a long time and is a good sign that things will get much much...

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About Larry Reni Thomas


Larry Reni Thomas is a 30-year veteran writer/radio announcer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who has worked at seven radio stations and whose journalistic work has appeared in downbeat and The New York Times Magazine.

Thomas was born in 1950 and reared in Wilmington, North Carolina. He began his professional journalistic career in 1978, while he was a history graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, when he assisted Wayne King with a New York Times Magazine article called “The Case Against the Wilmington Ten.” Since then he has written articles, reviews and previews in Downbeat, Jazz Line, The Spectator Magazine, The Urban Journal, The Carolina Times, The Daily Tar Heel,The Independent Weekly, The Wilmington Star News, The Wilmington Journal, Encore Magazine and Reggae Report. He has appeared on "The State of Things" with host Frank Stasio on WUNC-FM, Chapel Hill, NC and Metro Watch with host Gloria Minott on WPFW-FM, Washington, D.C. In 1982, while a jazz announcer at WDBS-FM in Durham, North Carolina, he wrote the liner notes for an album entitled “The Story Teller” by vocalist Bus Brown (Relate Records). Later that year, Thomas published The True Story Behind The Wilmington Ten (a revised edition was published by U.B. & U.S. Books, Hampton, Virginia, in the fall of 1993). His second book, Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!: A Tale of the Wilmington Incident of February 1971 was published February 2006. Larry is currently working on an historical study of The Barn: Wilmington, North Carolina’s Jazz Mecca (1941—1945). He is also the author of "The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan," an exclusive critically-acclaimed article posted on his blog,,
as well as websites like Women in Jazz South Florida, The Listening Group of D.C. and the Dutch-based Thomas has also presented his informative historical lecture--The Carolina Jazz Connection with Larry Reni Thomas--at universities, colleges, schools, and public places since 2008.

Thomas is the founder and project director of Larry Thomas & Associates, Inc., a volunteer, non-profit, tax-exempt, cultural arts organization, dedicated to the jazz and Caribbean cultures. The primary purpose is to elevate the cultural awareness of the community by propagating, promoting and presenting these two vital, vibrant art forms to the public. Larry was also an active member of the now defunct IAJE, (The International Association for Jazz Education), served on the board of directors of the North Carolina Jazz Network and the Triangle Jazz Society.

Thomas has a M.A. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has done further study at UNC’s graduate school of Journalism. He was a jazz announcer with WHQR-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1984-1994; station manager of WWIL-AM (1990); an evening jazz announcer, interim station manager, program director and producer for WNCU-FM, Durham, North Carolina from 1995 to 2003 and a jazz announcer at WXYC-FM, WXDU-FM and WCOM-FM. Larry also taught History at Shaw University Cape (1989-94) in Wilmington and Durham, North Carolina, and at Omuteko Gwamaziima, an African-centered charter school in Durham. His interests are writing, reading, traveling, jogging and music. His wife, Candace, is a fiber artist, whose work, "Moonchild" (an abstract portrait of the late jazz pianist/composer Brother Yusuf Salim) appeared as a part of Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Tradition, Contemporary African-American Quilts, at the American Folk Art Museum, New York City in 2009.

Larry Reni Thomas joined the JazzTimes community on Mar 18, 2009