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Composition Faculty

Instrumental Faculty

Voice Faculty

Jazz Faculty

Early Music Faculty

Ben Thomas, D.M.A.

Adjunct Instructor

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Ben Thomas, D.M.A.

Ben Thomas is one of the most in-demand vibraphonists in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to leading jazz and tango ensembles, he performs as a sideman on mallets, percussion and bandoneon with a wide variety of groups including Tangabrazo, More Zero and the Jovino Santos Neto Quarteto. He currently has three albums of original compositions available on Origin Records: Triskaidekaphobia, The Mystagogue and The Madman’s Difference.

Thomas completed his Doctor of Musical Art in Percussion Performance at the University of Washington in 2007. His dissertation was on the development of Cal Tjader’s early Latin Jazz vibraphone style. Thomas received his Master of Music with Honors in Improvisation from the University of Michigan in 1994. While in graduate school, he directed the University’s Jazz Composers Orchestra and performed with Stephen Rush. His time with Rush resulted in the CD recording of Rush’s chamber opera, Murders in the Rue Morgue. Thomas also graduated from Swarthmore College, where he majored in mathematics and music.

In the last few years, Thomas has performed at the Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Ballard Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, Detroit-Montreaux Jazz Festival, Anacortes Arts Festival, Ellensburg Jazz in the Valley Festival, Tacoma Maritime Festival, Bellingham Art of Jazz Series, and the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival. As a composer, Thomas has written for chamber groups, big bands, jazz combos, dance and theater. He has also taught clinics and masterclasses at colleges across the country.