Sunday, March 15, 2009

Leon G. Thomas III from August Rush

I put off watching the movie August Rush. I don't know why but I did. Today I watched it off and on on HBO and saw this kid, Leon G. Thomas III, who's singing "Father's Song" from the movie in the video above. He's awesome and sounds like a young Michael Jackson.

I read at a Wiki that he's the son of the late Leon G. Thomas, Jr., a jazz singer who worked for a while with Santana. Here he is singing "When I Look Into Your Eyes."

The report that he's the late jazz singer's biological son makes sense, but I've only read that at Wiki Answers.

(misleading section deleted)

Just speculation and trivia, of course, because the singer in the movie sparked my curiosity. Ultimately, does it matter who his father is or was unless we want to discuss that talent may be mostly genetic? In some ways, the movie August Rush implies it is, but we all probably know someone who's musically gifted whose parents are not.

This post ties into my OSF post on childhood singers about Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. If you visit the participants in that meme, you'll find even more clips of childhood singers, including one of a very young Beyonce Knowles.

If you're curious about the movie August Rush, read a synopsis here. In it, Leon plays Arthur, a supporting character role. The main character is Evan Taylor, played by Freddie Highmore.

Hmm, this seems a good time recommend a book. I've been reading Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.
In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people--from a man who is struck by lightning and suddenly inspired to become a pianist at the age of forty-two, to an entire group of children with Williams syndrome who are hypermusical from birth; from people with "amusia," to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans, to a man whose memory spans only seven seconds--for everything but music.

Our exquisite sensitivity to music can sometimes go wrong: Sacks explores how catchy tunes can subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop musical hallucinations that assault them night and day. Yet far more frequently, music goes right: Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson's disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer's or amnesia.

Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks tells us why. (from the author's site)
The book is compelling.


le0pard13 said...

Haven't seen August Rush, but the young man certainly has a voice and talent.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

OK Vérité Parlant,

This is the second review of a television program you've given that I've never heard of.

I do agree that the young man's voice is reminiscent of Michael Jackson.

I have casually followed the OSF of some bloggers from your list and have enjoyed the selections.

I'll have to check out your book recommendation of Musicophilia. Unfortunately, I don't have HBO so I can't view August Rush

I'm enjoying my time reading your blog,


Anonymous said...

Jayon Anthony is his mother not father. His biological fathers name is Leon G. Thomas II (Jr). I am sure of this because I know Leon and his father. They are close to my family.

Vérité Parlant said...

Thank you, Kev. I appreciate careful readers. I must have misread the NYT piece because I didn't know Jayon is a woman's name. So, when the NYT later referred to Ms. Anthony, I thought it was speaking of Jayon's wife because I read something elsewhere that identified Jayon as male.

Anyway, it's not important in the discussion of the young Leon's talent, so I deleted the entire section.

virgolady said...

This young man can SING!!!! I saw "August Rush" and was VERY impressed. He will go a long way in the business.