Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, will be performing at Lincoln Center’s 25th Annual Roots of American Music Festival on August 23. This festival is part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors season which is jam-packed with dynamic, free programs in Damrosch Park. Thomas, and some of her New Orleans musical peers, will also be performing at the Democratic National Convention’s welcoming party in Denver on August 24. Later that same night, she will sing songs from her upcoming release Simply Grand during a private after-party at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium hosted by Friends Of New Orleans.
Due August 12 on Rounder, Simply Grand matches Thomas with renowned pianists Marcia Ball, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Davell Crawford, Dr. John, David Egan, Norah Jones, Ellis Marsalis, Tom McDermott, John Medeski, Randy Newman, and David Torkanowsky. The concept for the album is simple: bring Thomas together with a group of soul mate pianists and record songs that find common ground in each pairing. The result: a beautifully crafted album that showcases the musical depth of Thomas, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainers in New Orleans.
A Rounder recording artist for 21 years, Thomas has received Grammy nominations for Simply The Best: Live! (Rounder, 1991), and for her collaboration with Marcia Ball and Tracy Nelson on the best-selling Sing It! (Rounder, 1998). In 2007, Thomas won her first-ever Grammy award – for ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’ – for After The Rain, an aptly titled album that was recorded in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.