Saxophonist, Bootsie Barnes with Trombonist, John Swana and the Webb Thomas Organ Band

Sat, Jul 7, 2018

Saxophonist, Bootsie Barnes with Trombonist, John Swana and the Webb Thomas Organ Band

with John Swana and Webb Thomas

Premier jazz saxophonist Robert “Bootsie” Barnes has been proclaimed a Philadelphia treasure.

“Bootsie” began his musical career at age 6 on piano switching to drums at 10. His grandmother gave him a saxophone at age 19 and he knew he had found his niche. In school, classmates included drummers, Lex Humphries, Bill Cosby, Al “Tootie” Heath; bassist Spanky” DeBrest, trumpeter Lee Morgan, and a host of Philadelphia giants who went on to help shape the maturing sound of jazz music. Those who had the biggest influence on him were his father, who played trumpet with Bill Doggett’s 16 piece big band, and his cousin Jimmy Hamilton, saxophonist and star clarinetist of Duke Ellington’s band for 26 years.

John Swana

John was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, and began studying trumpet at the age of 11. He was drawn to jazz at the age of 17 after hearing Dizzy Gillespie, and the interest developed into a passion while he was in collage, where he began transcribing the solos of Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, and Tom Harrell.

Webb Thomas

Webb was born in South Philadelphia and spent his early
years in Chester,Pa being raised by his grandparents while his Mother worked in Nursing. Webb lost his Father early on in life before his 3rd birthday.



Exposed to Music at an early age, His Uncle's Band would have Jazz Sessions at the Family home in Chester and it was there that Webb would "playfully" take the drumsticks and run upstairs and hide them under his pillow. The next day the Drummer would come and wonder where his sticks went? At the age of 5, He was enrolled at The Settlement Music School and hasnt put the Sticks down yet.



While attending St. Carthage Parochial School and West
Catholic H. S. for Boys in Philadelphia Webb became heavily involved in the Music Programs and began to play at Various functions such as School Plays, Church Functions, Marching Bands etc...



After that.. Webb began his journey to the different Music
Colleges. First Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, then on to Berklee College of Music in Boston playing with different groups and showbands such as The Energetics, traveling throughout New England and abroad.
After a brief stint in New York City working with the late great guitarist, Eric Gale and recording Island Breeze, Webb returned home to Philadelphia.