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Rapp on Jazz: Skipp Pearson

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Master saxophonist and educator, Thales Thomas "Skipp" Pearson, was born in 1937 in Orangeburg, SC, where he taught himself to read music with the help of a local band director.

After joining the Air Force, Pearson toured around the world and played alongside the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Patti LaBelle, and Miles Davis. In 1973, he returned to South Carolina, got a degree in music from Claflin College, and taught music and led band programs at Bamberg and Clarendon county schools for over 20 years.

Pearson was named the state's Jazz Ambassador by the the South Carolina Senate in 2022. He continued to play music and inspire musicians until his passing in 2017.

This has been Rapp on Jazz, a co-production of the ColaJazz Foundation and SC Public Radio. Support for this program is made possible in part by Fox Music House of Columbia and Charleston.