Jazz Pianist Organist Educator Composer
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. He is often seen performing with the Legendary Count Basie Band as an accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. and Los Angeles. 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 Tokyo, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand, Macau, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Milan, Italy; Warsaw and Poznan, Poland; Senegal, West Africa; and London, England. Recordings include work with Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, and Clark Terry/Mike Vax. His latest recording “Matters Of The Heart”(MRTJazz) will be released March of 2015 with his wife Mardra and their previous recordings together are “Fade to Blue”(MaxJazz) and “Standard Time” (Victoria). He can be heard playing organ on the record “4” (Jazz Compass) and “Better Than Alright” with the MSU’s Professors of Jazz. 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.
After almost 20 years as professor of music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and three years at Michigan State University as Professor of Jazz Piano, Reggie Thomas is now leading the Northern Illinois University School of Music’s Jazz Studies Program. He is also a consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center working with the Essentially Ellington Program and Band Director Academy and has 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 in London. 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.
“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.” –jazzstl.org
“Mardra Thomas has the impeccable phrasing of Nancy Wilson, and also the sharp tang reminiscent of Eartha Kitt.”
-Mike Stratton WLNZ LCC Radio
“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…” –maxjazz.com