Erly Thornton
Gig Seeker Pro

Erly Thornton

Orlando, Florida, United States | INDIE

Orlando, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Scott O’Brien"

“Wow! What a great debut solo album from Orlando-based sax man Erly Thornton! Truly an impressive collection of urban flavored Smooth Jazz, and I’m hearing hit after hit. All the right elements are working for it, from tasty originals to well-chosen covers (EW&F’s “Fantasy,” Rose Royce’s “Wishing on a Star” and Robin Thicke’s “Lost without You”) all brilliantly performed and impeccably produced. This is top drawer, first class stuff, and you’ll be as impressed as I am when you start hearing tunes from this disc on and tons of other stations. Erly says it’s “the culmination of my life’s work as a musician… I truly believe that the work… stands on par with the best the industry has to offer.” I will confidently add my prediction that this release will easily establish Mr. Thornton’s credentials for the future. MY LIFE is that good! Why do I speak so confidently on Erly Thornton’s behalf? Because, I listen to a lot of new music on a weekly basis. While most of it is quite good, every once in awhile something comes along that blows me away… something that is several notches above the rest. Trust me on this one, MY LIFE from Erly Thornton is just such a project. Expect him to be a household name in the world of Smooth Jazz sooner, not later!” - Smooth

"William and the"

“My Life” is a contemporary jazz/soul album that features the outstanding saxophone work of Erly Thornton. The sound is one that is difficult to put a label on. There are great elements present from many different genres, although smooth jazz is probably the most predominant. The musicianship is superior on this album and the arrangements are unique and intelligent. There is a constant upbeat, yet smooth vibe to all of the songs. All of the instruments are well represented, meaning you can hear everything. The relationship of the layers is well produced. This album will relax you and get your heart pumping at the same time. Highlights include “JJ’s Bounce,” which takes you off the map a little bit with urban beats and a funky groove. “Fantasy” speaks for itself in the title and features one of the best sax performances on the album. “Grooveelatious” is another self-explanatory track. There is more than groove to this one though, as it takes you on an airy journey. If you enjoy contemporary/smooth jazz saxophone, you’ll love this CD and this talented saxophonist. -

"Break Out Artist"

Erly Thornton recently released his current album, My Life, which we describe as a rare gift; an experience with the best life has to offer. Be sure to check out Thornton’s feature in ABYSSJazz’s, July/August issue. Erly Thornton is a truly gifted artist and definitely a rising star. - ABYSSJazz Magazine

"From Yvonne Coleman Smooth Jazz Brunch Sundays"

“This rising star has performed with and been the opening act for superstars like Phil Perry, Glenn Jones, Howard Hewitt, the Rippingtons, Spyro Gyro and many more. NOW it’s Erly’s time to take center stage. “My Life” serves up a nice blend of Smooth Jazz mixed with a twist of R & B and sprinkled with infectious Latin rhythms. With the release of his newest CD you are taken a musical journey that wets your appetite right from the start. You’ll have to take a pause after hearing the first two tracks “Free” and “Mura de Cozumel”, so that you can call your friends to tell them there is some new music that they definitely have got to check out. Light the candles and let “Turn Off The Lights” make an unforgettable night. This 12 track release lets you experience some nice interpretations of great cover tunes like “Fantasy” and “Wishing on A Star and “Lost Without U”. If you’re looking for a smooth ride, “E-Class” puts you on cruise control for a trip that you won’t forget. Hat's off to the band and vocalists that make this release well worth listening to.  Enjoy all that “My Life” has to offer from an artist who is a wonderful person dedicated not only to his music, but his family and friends as well. “

Yvonne Coleman
Host of the Smooth Jazz Sunday Brunch,
Smooth Jazz 103.1 WLOQ
- WLOQ 103.1 Orlando, FL


Erly Thornton - "My Life"

The CD is getting Radio Airplay in Tennessee, Florida, New Hampshire in on-air stations. It is on several internet stations like and in New Zealand on

Insights to "My Life" Tracks

“Free”—We all have dreams. We all have a purpose in life that most of us sometimes find hard to focus on. This is a conversation about taking the plunge and taking the chance to be free from the daily grind of your unsatisfying job or life to Follow Your Dreams. With vocals based on a conversation with your significant other, assuring them that it is the right time, “Don’t You Feel It, Don’t you Know It!” and counseling: “Don’t Be Afraid, Don’t Hesitate!” it is an optimistic emotional expression of a new beginning.

“Mura de Cozumel”—Imagine a bright golden sun shining on Mayan waters such a unique shade of blue that there are no colors in our language to describe it. You plunge into the sea's cool, refreshing embrace followed by schools of bright yellow fish while floating effortlessly over coral reefs of indescribable beauty. This is Freedom. This is the song about that experience, on the Mura or underwater "Wall" of Cozumel.

“JJ’s Bounce”—It's almost dinner time. As I slice the vegetables I hear my kid's favorite show on the TV. I turn and there they are, smiling at me with grins so big, hands on the top of the couch bouncing up and down on the cushions in time to the music. Have you ever seen kids do that? I think it’s a universal language of "I don't have a care in the world, I'm having fun and the center of attention is my daddy, mommy, and my life set to music." This is your song Joseph and Janelle. This song is dedicated to them and all of the parents and kids in the World. This is JJ's Bounce.

“Turn Off The Lights” - Remember the dorm room mix tape? You had one to study with, one to party with, and one to…ahem…set the mood. Kicked the roommate out hours ago. We have been studying each other for a while now. No more books or pretenses. All we have is nervous anticipation, beating hearts, first love exploration. Is this the one? We don’t know but we both feel it. Put in the cassette. Hit play. No more talking, just “Turn Off The Lights”.

“Fantasy”—The timeless music of Earth Wind and Fire has been loved by people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. It is not just the pure genius of the compositions themselves, but also the spirituality and optimism expressed in their lyrics. Fantasy is one of those grooving inspirational songs that fit very well into the theme of this project and our lives. “Every Man has a place, in his heart there’s a space, And the world can’t erase his fantasies, Take a ride in the sky, On a trip Fantasize, all your dreams will come true right away!“ Who isn’t inspired by that?

“With You By My Side”—No one can do it alone. We all try, but the wisest of us find out that the way is much better if we have help from our friends and significant others. Together we can accomplish anything “With You By My side”!

“Grooveelatious”—Remember when songs were so funky that you had no choice but to dance? It's an involuntary movement of your head. Before you know it your thoughts have turned from the mundane to happier times and now you are moving more than your head. You raise your hands in the air as you really haven't heard a song like this in a while, since College or High School even! Man this song is Groovy! “(Gr00ve-E-Lay-Shus)”

“Wishing On A Star”—Relationships can be difficult and sometimes can go through hard times. How do you feel when you know it may be at the end, but you really wish it wasn’t? The hurt and the pain of wanting to make it work and needing your other half to try as hard as you... This is a song that came out when I was I was in Jr High school, a heartfelt plea from a woman wanting to make one last try. “She’s Wishing On A Star”.

“E-Class”—Many songs have been written about the experience of driving. Usually it is about the particular road but occasionally it is about the vehicle. If the driving experience is incredible enough, it doesn’t matter what road you are on, you take your experience with you everywhere. Driving my wife’s E-Class Mercedes inspired this song.

“Lost Without U”—Don’t you just love a song that inspires all the ladies in the crowds to sing along? A song so powerful that they have memorized the lyrics and nuances of the vocals verbatim? Originally written and performed by Robin Thicke, “Lost Without U” is definitely one.

“Embarkation”—The title of this song is defined as “To board a vessel or aircraft as in the start of a journey; To set out on an adventure; To commence”. I like the sound of that, don’t you? The hardest thing about a journey is making the decision to take it in the first place. Whatever your journey will turn out to be, I hope this song helps you to get the hard thing out of the way: “Making the decision t



Playing the saxophone has always been emotionally intense for Erly Thornton. Each performance is a connection this artist and his audience mutually enjoy! Born in Nashville into a family that had artistic talent on both sides, mother being a painter and father being a trumpet player, he had no choice but to experience a double doses of creativity from birth.

Starting on the sax in the 5th grade, Erly was asked to play in front of “the boys”, his father’s musician friends, every weekend to the music of Ray Charles. His improvisational talent began there.
Erly began taking the music into his room to learn every lick he could from Jazz artists such as Herb Alpert, Grover, Sanborn, Najee, George Howard, Brecker Brother Band, and others, learning their works by memory. But he also “felt” the R&B and Funk of groups like Cameo, EWF, Zapp, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and The Time contributing to his multi-faceted style.

During the late 80’s Erly started college and began playing professionally for the first time. In addition to Nashville, Erly performed in the cities and surrounding areas of Knoxville, Chattanooga and even spent some time on World Famous Beale Street in Memphis. Graduating from Tennessee State University in Electrical Engineering, in the 90’s Erly moved to Orlando where he began working in his field.

However, leaving music behind turned out to be impossible. Very soon Erly was performing in Central Florida with several groups as well as a solo act.

The unexpected breakup of one of the most successful of his Jazz groups thus far, B.One, prompted him to pursue a solo career in earnest.
Erly began writing in 2004 composing many of the songs on his current CD. Drawing from his past he initially decided to create music using the strong Bass and Drums of the R&B of his youth, creating funky Jazz licks over the top. The effort was initially titled “The Old School Beat” with the songs “Call It A Day”, “JJ’s Bounce” and “Grooveelatious”. Later Erly realized that his music needed to encompass the present as well as the future and included Latin Flavored tracks such as “Mura De Cozumel” and in collaboration with Veit Renn of Renn Music Productions created songs such as “Free”, “Embarkation” and others. “The Old School Beat” became “My Life” detailing the emotional experiences that we ALL have on a daily basis.

Erly performed with original Jazz groups like Jerry Wilborn and Limited Access in Knoxville, and in Nashville with AyreTyte, a contemporary Jazz cover band. Erly also performed with R&B artists Phil Perry, Glenn Jones and Howard Hewitt as a member of their show bands during performances in Nashville in the 90’s. In Orlando, he became a key member and lead voice of B.One an all original Jazz band that quickly became one of the hottest groups in Central Florida, recording 2 CDs, opening for the Clearwater Jazz Festival, with Mindi Abair, and opening for Spyro Gyra at the House of Blues in Orlando.

Earlier this year, Erly debuted his solo career opening for The Rippingtons in Orlando in July 2007 and finishing with one of the first standing ovations an opening act has received in Orlando recent memory.

Now that the CD “My Life” has been released, Erly expects to become a regular on the Jazz Festival and Concert circuit. Expect much from this artist as he is sure to impress!