Staff Pick — Best Team Player: Thomas Milovac

Staff Pick

Great jazz music is built on a solid foundation of collaboration and communication between musicians and, for our money, there's no one locally taking this tenet to such radical extremes as bassist and composer Thomas Milovac. Since venues started reopening their doors to live music over the last few months, Milovac has been a ubiquitous blur of activity, equally comfortable leading or playing the sideman role in all manner of combos and spaces. Whether it's skronking with free-jazz collective Bongus in large and small variations at Will's and Grumpy's (which saw him lying on the floor while playing), backing Ryan Devlin at the Blue Bamboo Center, jamming Skatalites songs with an extended Florida Man lineup at Tanqueray's, hitting the open mic at Austin's Coffee, playing a city event at Winter Park's Central Park as one-third of the Tropical City Jazz Trio, or even somehow cramming the entire Unit Colossus 12-piece ensemble into Uncle Lou's and conducting the music in the two-foot space between the bar and the players, it's clear Milovac feeds off the endless possibilities of new and unexpected creative partnerships. Add in the launch of his Cosmo Sonic Collective label on Valentine's Day (awww) to signal-boost music by his comrades, and it's proof positive Milovac favors musical discovery over ego. (

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