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Michael Thomas Quintet

DCJF Performance Date(s) and Venue(s)

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Artist Bio

Currently celebrating twenty years together, the Washington, DC based “Michael Thomas Quintet” is a powerful group that is deeply rooted the rich Black American tradition of jazz. The quintet has the unique capability to capture an audience and take them on an excursion to where "Hard-bop and Blues" swing joyfully, prayerfully, and soulfully. The group consists of members that know the culture, respect the culture, and love the culture of this wonderful music called jazz.  

There is nothing "laid back" about this group. Hence the motto ….“Swing or Die!”  

“Come on in and have a truly great time!” 

2010 First Round GRAMMY Nominee (Live at TWINS JAZZ - vol. II) 

"..a band that burns, and swings mightily, in the solid Jazz Messengers tradition." - Ken Franckling 

 

Michael A. Thomas - Trumpet  

Zach Graddy - Tenor 

Darius Scott - Piano 

Kent Miller - Contrabass 

Frank T. Williams IV - Drums 

 

About Michael A. Thomas:

(Las Vegas, NV) a multi-faceted performer, attended Grambling State University where he majored in music performance.   At Grambling, he studied French Horn under Conrad Hutchinson and trumpet under Dr. Joseph Miller.   He also performed with Frank Foster, who was then directing the Count Basie Orchestra.  Michael’s interest in Jazz developed in the latter years at Grambling and really came into fruition when he moved to New York State.  While in New York, he worked diligently on learning and improving himself to move toward becoming the type player he wanted be.  There he organized his first quintet, the Michael Thomas Quintet, and became well recognized in the local areas jam sessions and clubs.  While in New York, he met Bill Saxton and Hugh Brodie, who were both instrumental in his development process in terms of encouragement and advice.   Michael relocated to the DC area, where he has become an ardent participant on the DC  jazz scene. In 1996, Michael was a scholarship recipient in the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Contest at the East Coast Jazz Festival.  To date, he has played with a number of notable musicians such as Andrew White, Betty Carter, Jimmy Heath, Larry Willis, Shirley Scott, Slide Hampton, Buck Hill, Webster Young, Gary Bartz, Joe Williams, and others.  Currently,  The Michael Thomas Quintet performs regularly both in and out of the DC area.  Michael also hosted jam sessions at HR-57 (Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues) and is an alumni of The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra.  Michael currently records for JazHead Entertainment LLC with his Quintet.  JazHead Entertainment is Michael’s self-produced record label.  Five CDs have been produced for the Quintet.  The latest CDs ("Live At TWINS JAZZ – vol. I & II") feature the incredible saxophonist Mr. Andrew White.  “Vol. II”  had the honor of being a first round 2010 GRAMMY ballot entry Michael Thomas Quintet.  Most recently, Michael has toured Russia performing four well received concerts.   He also displays a high interest in strengthening the jazz community in areas such as respect, community awareness, resources, and publication.