Andre Thomas & Quiet Fire
About Andre Thomas
Andre Thomas has appeared at major music festivals, concerts and club
venues for almost three decades. He's played sideman for a host of musicians
such as Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, Don Ellis, Art Pepper, Clark
Terry, Herb Ellis and more. During the late 1990's, he hosted the jam
session at Tula's where living legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Joey DeFrancesco,
Freddy Cole and Herlin Riley would sit in. Hear Andre Thomas and his group
in this all-favorable circumstance, with an involved audience, a reputation,
and a license to burn.
Where It's At
"I prefer jazz because the music is so expressive," says
Thomas. "The musicians feed off each other's energy, so it's impossible
to play the same way each time. I try to communicate. That's what drums
were for originally. They're the oldest instrumentthe heartbeat
of the music. You can tell the origin of the music in the drums. Knowing
different styles helps to create your own style. As a drummer, you need
to know where you are and who you are when you approach a gig."
What does it take to be a military musician? "Versatility is the
first requirement," says Thomas, who came from Japan to Seattle in
1987 with the Navy Band. "We played a lot of ceremonial music for
formal military occasions and dance music for events like Seafair. We
also did special performances for schools, featuring everything from Mancini
to rock 'n' roll. For years I played 8:30 a.m. high school assemblies!"
Schooled in his native town Baltimore and
studying music in San Diego, Thomas also completed six months at the Armed
Forces School of Music, a requirement for all service musicians. But Thomas'
real love is jazz, even though he grew up on '60s soul music. "My
father was a jazz drummer and my biggest influence.
Thomas has found plenty of opportunities
to play locally, beginning at Lofurno's where he met his "musical
father," Buddy Catlett. After 20 years serving in several ports,
Thomas appreciates Seattle's jazz scene.
Please call 206-443-4221 for reservations.