DreadJazz

DreadJazz

BandJazzWorld

Old skool Bop with a new skool flavor

Biography

Dreadjazz is the work of multi
instrumentalist/composer/ teacher, Thomas
Macaoidh, Over the past 20 years Dreadjazz has
evolved into many creative ensembles throught the
US. Thomas Macaoidh’s musical personality has
been described as,”manical” ( Denver review Quixotes
True Blue 2002), but with the taste of an Ellington
ballad. Thomas has shared the stage with musicians
such as, Clark Terry, Merle Saunders, Terry Haggerty,
and Rob Scheps.

Thomas started his musical studies at the age of 5
with lessons on piano and percussion. He comes
from a rich Scottish musical family. His mother was a
private piano instructor, and his brother is a church
organist. His grandparents on his fathers’ side were
both professional musicians in Scotland in the early
1900's

After graduating from high school Mr. Macaoidh
attended various midwestern universities studying
classical percussion and playing in as many
ensembles as possible. During the late 80's he had
the privilege to study with some of the most reknown
teacher in the world of percussion. He attended the
summer session at Birch Creek Music Academy in
1987, and while there met Gordon Stout, Bill Molenhof,
and Ed Soph. In the years following, he started to
compose and formed a combo at the University of
North Dakota, This combo took 1st place at the 1990
Eau Clair Jazz Festival. Also at this time he became the
pianist with the Dick King Classic Big Band, which led
to a performance at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival 1992.

In 1994 Thomas relocated from North Dakota to
Indiana where he joined “ The Jazz Firm” lead by french
hornist Dino Jackson. Thomas and Dino formed a
experimental vibraphone/horn duo with much success.
Also during these years Mr. Macaoidh freelanced
playing drums, piano, and vibes, forming a vibe trio that
featured his compositions. This trio was featured at the
1996 Elkhart Jazz Festival. As a teacher, he taught
public school and also a short term at SouthWestern
Michigan College.

Since 1998, Thomas as made Oregon his home. Also
in 1998 he co-lead Jubal a fusion quartet performing
on keys and vibes. They released a self titled CD in
1999. The year 2000 found Thomas reforming
Dreadjazz. This time a trio, called Tryptic. This
ensemble performed mainly his compositions and
was influenced by the works of Coltrane and Monk.
This trio was in demand throughout the Williamette
Valley and played at the 2001 Eugene Celebration.
Also in 2000 Thomas joined Jupiter Hollow, a 7 piece
psychedelic fusion band, as keyboardist and vibist.
This lead to a mid-west tour and production of a CD
project that featured Tenor Saxophonist, Martin Fiero, (
Quicksilver Messenger, Grateful Dead), and also two of
his compositions, Louse and What The Funk.
Dreadjazz, at this time, was evolving. Thomas lead a
variety of groups; from a 7 piece latin jazz project, to a
Quartet Featuring Craig Bender and Kenny Reed. They
were recorded, live, at Luna’s in 2001.

During 2001 Thomas met one of the most influencial
people of his life, Norma Fraser. Norma is the first
female reggae artist to come out of Studio One in
Jamaica, along with Bob Marley and the Wailers, and
so many others. Thomas received a call to audition for
her band on keyboards and shortly after joined her
band based in Eugene, Oregon. For the next few years
he was performing throughout the Oregon with Norma
Fraser, Jupiter Hollow and Dreadjazz.

In late 2003 Thomas met his wife Carolyn, and soon
after moved to Portland, Oregon. On Arrival in Portland,
Thomas was asked to perform with 3 Leg Torso at the
2003 “ Astor in Paris” CD release performance at the
Aladdin Theater. For the next 2 years Thomas Toured
with 3 Leg Torso throughout the US, as the primary
mallet percussionist and expanding into the world of
arabic percussion performing on doumbek and riq. In
the two years he was with 3 Leg Torso he played at
such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, with the Portland
Youth Symphony, and completing two west coast
tours. In 2004 Thomas found himself recording and
touring the east coast with 3 Leg Torso and spoken
word artist David Greenberger. At this time they were
commissioned to composed for NPR at the WGBH
Studios in Boston. Thomas contributed two
composition. This session was released on David
Greenbergers’ label in 2005. Also during 2005,
Dreadjazz reformed for one recording. This recording
featured some of portlands finest jazz musicians. He
also taught private piano and percussion throughout
the Portland community as well as freelancing
keyboard gigs with the Ken DeRouchie band and
continued to perform with Norma Fraser.

In late 2005 Thomas was struck by bad luck when his
vibraphone bars were stolen. After this tragic
experience Thomas and his wife moved to Albany,
Oregon in order be with family and friends. Shortly

Discography

Jubal, 1999
Jupiter hollow, 2001
David Green Berger/3LT, 2004
Mackay Quartet, 2004
Tasty Trio, " flavors," 2005
Tasty Trio, " serve it up" 2007
Norma Fraser, ( one more chance) 2006