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Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas is a versatile multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, saxophones and flute). A professional musician for over 55 years, Jay has given clinics and performed in clubs and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, China and Japan. In Japan, Jay has been a member of one of the top big jazz bands for over 25 years and joins them once or twice a year playing concerts, recording and teaching clinics. Jay is also a founding member of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and has been with them for 25 years. Jay is now on the staff of three national jazz camps, Centrum being the most prestigious. He is the leader/co-leader of numerous small groups.

Jay is on over 100 CDs, including 21 as leader or co-leader. Jay has also recorded with many heavy-weight players, most notably Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Ray Brown and Elvin Jones. (For the full list, please go to the Discography page).

Jay's distinctive sound is on many commercials and a few film scores. Reviews and articles on Jay have appeared in many jazz magazines and newspapers, including the L.A. Times, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Jazz Times, Jazz Player, Jazz Now, Japan Swing Journal and International Jazz Journal.

Early awards include "Jazz Artist Deserving Wider Recognition" in Downbeat, a one-year scholarship to Berklee School of Music, and Earshot Musician of the Year in '96 and '98. Jay was Earshot Jazz Festival's "Artist in Residence” for 2019 and one of 20 U.S. musicians given the Jazz Journalists Association's "2020 Jazz Heroes" Award.

Jay's musical voice is a very personal and recognizable sound, characterized by warmth, lyricism and rhythmic authority without losing touch with the blues. Hear him when you can; you will not be disappointed.

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Mailing Address:
Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 4021
Moscow, ID 83844-4021

Phone: 208-885-5900

Fax: 208-885-7254


Web: Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival