David Thomas is a multi-instrumentalist, with his primary instruments being the piano and the trumpet. He is from Rochester Hills, Michigan. He began taking piano lessons with Mrs. Christine Gahman when he was 7 years old and finished his high school piano training with Mrs. Shawn Panek. His trumpet career began in the 6th grade. His band teacher, Mr. Bill Walters, “fit” him with the trumpet, and he hasn’t put it down since.
A highlight in David’s musical career was when at the age of 17, he was called on stage to play with Wallace Roney, a world-renowned, Grammy-award winning trumpet player mentored by Miles Davis. David says it was a thrill of a lifetime and a privilege to play on the same stage as Wallace Roney, as well as Ralphe Armstrong, who played bass.
David was in the jazz studies program at Michigan State University. He studied with Etienne Charles, Rodney Whitaker, Randy Gelispie, Wessell Anderson, Diego Rivera, and Rick Roe. He played in the MSU Jazz Orchestras and Octets and led an MSU Jazz Combo.
David was the leader of DTQ (David Thomas Quartet) and the Funtet while at MSU. He and his groups performed around the East Lansing area playing primarily original jazz compositions written by David, as well as standards from The Great American Songbook. The members have included Taylor Herron on alto saxophone and flute, Alex Krausman on piano, Sam Copperman on bass, Jordan Otto on drums, Griffin Vacheron on trombone, and the late Nate Woodring on drums, who is sorely missed.
While at MSU, David also played trumpet with the Bard Owls, an Appalachian folk group based in East Lansing. He is the featured artist on the song, “Blue Rail Line,” off of their album, “No Tracks.”
David is also a certified teacher in grades K – 8. He graduated from Michigan State University with his Elementary Education degree and a minor in music.
David currently leads his jazz trio, David Thomas & Co., in which he plays piano, Rhodes electric piano, trumpet, melodica, piccolo, and flute. He plays with Planet D Nonet, run by drummer, RJ Spangler, and trumpeter, James O’Donnell. David plays solo piano at the Rochester Chop House and Kabin Kruser’s Oyster Bar in Rochester, Michigan. Currently in his second year, he is the piano accompanist for the Rochester Community Schools Elementary District Choir and has arranged jazz tunes for the children’s choir to perform at their concerts throughout the school year. David can be found playing either solo or with his jazz duo or trio at restaurants, clubs, wedding ceremonies and receptions, fundraisers, churches, private events, and other various functions. Other than aforementioned, David also plays with several other bands and artists in the Detroit area.