B.F.A., The City College of New York (Phi Beta Kappa)
Gerald M Thomas
A native New Yorker, saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist, keyboardist and bassist Gerald M. Thomas has been performing for more than twenty five years. Gerald began playing tenor saxophone in junior high school in Queens, New York, adding soprano and then alto and baritone in Bronx High School of Science. Tenor saxophone is his primary instrument, but he also plays all of the saxophones from soprano to baritone equally proficiently. Don Braden was his principal saxophone teacher/mentor in the mid-through late 1990’s. In addition to developing a strong background in music theory (and applied Jazz concepts in particular), Braden also helped Thomas in the grooming of a very refined sound. The development of a beautiful sound is a high priority for both. In the pursuit of this goal, Mr. Thomas has acquired a great deal of information regarding tone production, mouthpiece/instrument construction, and other technical details peculiar to the saxophone.
Having studied with Frank Foster at JazzMobile, he is also a fluent reed section reader, and has recorded at Sony Studios in NYC.
A graduate of City College of New York, he holds the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Jazz Performance. In the Jazz program, Gerald was awarded the Joel Award, a full tuition award granted to an undergraduate student. On graduation, he received the honors Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa membership as awards.
Gerald M. Thomas has maintained an active performing career. He has performed with many jazz greats over the years; Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Louis Hayes, John Hicks, Benny Golson, and John Patitucci, just to name a few. He was invited to perform at the reopening ceremony of Seven World Trade Center. Gerald has also played in numerous bands of many differing genres of music, including Latin Jazz, Afro-Cuban Rhumba, Salsa, Brazilian Samba, Latin pop, Haitian Kompa, and R&B/Funk. In recent years he has performed with several jazz big bands in NYC and on Long Island. On occasion, he performs with acts such as Jared Crawford’s band (with the members from Bring the Noise, Bring the Funk), Savion Glover productions, and various other new artists.
In addition, Gerald also leads his two of his own groups: GMT_EXPRESS, an ensemble which performs exclusively his own compositions and arrangements, and 23rd Son, a very experimental Cuban and Caribbean Jazz band.
Gerald has been teaching privately and is enthusiastic about sharing his talent with others. Besides a busy studio musician, Gerald has taught at the Bergen Academy of Music and Arts (a conservatory) in New Jersey, and at York College (as a Lecturer) in Queens, New York.