Jazz Fest Welcomes Reggie Thomas, Performing with MYA Jazz Combo (12pm)


“One of the most in demand pianists and educators in the country, Reggie Thomas’ soulful, hard-swinging brand of piano immediately grabs an audience and assures them that a swinging time is set to be had by all.”


“Few jazz keyboardists have excelled at both piano and organ…On piano, Thomas shows off a sensitive touch, a rich sense of harmony and fleet single-note runs; on organ, he delivers grits, gravy and gospel in satisfying portions…”


Reginald Thomas can be seen fronting his own groups (Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble; OGD) on both piano and Hammond organ and as a sideman with great artists including Hamiett Blueit, Ann Hampton Callaway, and the Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker Ensemble. Most recently he was the accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition at theKennedy Center in Washington DC. Reggie continues to appear as guest artist at collegiate jazz festivals around the country including Lawrence University, the University of South Florida, and Texas Tech University. He has also performed internationally in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Milan, Italy; Warsaw and Poznan, Poland; Senegal, West Africa; and London, England. Recordings include work with Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Clark Terry/Mike Vax, as well as his own recordings Fade to Blue with wife Mardra (MaxJazz), Standard Time (Victoria) and 4 (Jazz Compass). Reggie has been awarded the Excellence in the Arts award from the Greater St. Louis Arts and Education Council and was named in the Riverfront Times 2005 “Best of St. Louis” issue as Best Jazz Artist.

Reggie is professor of music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center working with the Essentially Ellington Program and Band Director Academy. Thomas has also served on several summer jazz faculties across the country and abroad including the International Association for Jazz Education Teacher Training Institute; the Birch Creek Music Center; the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Camp; Summer Jazz Academy in Chodziez, Poland and, most recently, the Barbican Center inLondon. He remains an active clinician/adjudicator at colleges throughout the country and at International Association for Jazz Education Conventions (now JEN). Thomas has directed All State Jazz Bands, Combos and Jazz Choirs in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, South Dakota and Tennessee and directed the first ever Missouri All-College Jazz Band.