"I really credit Dan for opening my eyes and ears up to high-level small group playing. His passion for the music and the intensity of his teaching are infectious."... Dr. Nathan Jorgensen ~ UNH/Clarke terry Jazz Festival
~Available for clinics, guest appearances and consulting at any level (Not-for-profit~University~Public School). Thomas is proven successful at developing experiences that foster growth for students, teachers and institutions~
~~For a listing of extensive academic, performing guest artist, and clinic experience, please use the contact button. A resume is readily available upon request~~
~Academic biography below~
Dan Thomas ~ Performer, Educator, Composer
Available for Guest Appearances and CLinics
Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist and Educator, Thomas has been recognized for his contributions to education with inductions in to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (3 times) as well as being awarded the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Excellence in Teaching Award (2017), given to one Conservatory faculty member, and twice recognized by the Missouri Music Educator’s Association. He presents master classes, workshops, and performs as featured guest artist around the world.
Prior to his current appointment as executive director and CEO of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, he served as the co-chair of the Jazz Studies Program at UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance with Bobby Watson. Thomas was the chief architect of a new model for jazz education which garnered national attention for the program and he led a team of Kansas City Jazz royalty. Under Thomas’ leadership the program grew immensely in both quality, number and in annual giving. He taught and directed the 11 O’Clock Jazz band. Among the many accolades the band performed at the 2012 Jazz Education Network convention and was acknowledged for outstanding performance as well as being selected to perform for the Missouri Music Educator’s Association’s 78th Annual In-Service Workshop/Conference.
Thomas’ students perform around the world and teach at the highest levels. His students have appeared many times at the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program, Jazz Port Townsend workshops, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and JEN. Students have been recognized in numerous jazz competitions and received many awards, notably in Downbeat, by Thelonious Monk, MTNA, Yamaha, ITG, Nafme, Music for All, Grammy, Bard Summer Jazz Academy (JALCO) and the Vandoren jazz saxophone competition, among other.
Former student and assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Memphis says, “Dan, in addition to being a killer player, is a dedicated pedagogue who breaks down and demystifies the nuts and bolts of improvisation in a way that no other teacher I encountered in my collegiate study could.”