Reggie & Mardra Thomas

Reggie & Mardra Thomas




Reggie Thomas holds a BA degree in music education from Western IL University and a MM degree from Southern IL University at Edwardsville (SIUE) where he is currently an associate professor of music. At SIUE he teaches jazz education, jazz history, jazz theory and improvisation and directs combos, big band and the SIUE Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

Thomas has served on the summer faculty of several jazz camps throughout the country including the Birch Creek Music Center in Egg Harbor, WI; Jim Widner camps at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Drury College in Springfield, MO, Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, MO and Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas; the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Camp (teaching vocal jazz); and abroad at the Summer Jazz Academy in Chodziez, Poland. He is also an active clinician/adjudicator and has conducted clinics at colleges throughout the country including the Berklee School of Music, Cal-Arts, Purdue University and at the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention. Thomas has directed the 1994 IL District VI Jazz Choir, the 1995 MO Distrist VIII Jazz Band, the 1996 IL All-State Honors Jazz Combo, the 1997 IL District III Jazz Band 2, the first ever Missouri All-College Jazz Band in 1998, the 1999 All-West Tennessee Jazz Band 2, the 2001 All-West Tennessee Jazz Band 1 and the 2001 Maine All-State Honors Jazz Choir.

Thomas was the second place winner of the Second Biannual American Jazz Piano Competition (1994) held in Indianapolis, IN and is featured on the CD release "Ivories on the Avenue".

Reggie has performed with several nationally known artist including Karrin Allison, Eddie Daniels, Sonny Fortune, Al Grey, Slide Hampton, Eddie Harris, Jimmy Heath, Oliver Lake, Jackie McLean, David "Fathead" Newman, Nicholas Payton, Hal Singer, Clark Terry, and Steve Turre. He has also performed abroad in Poland and at the Jazz 1996 Festival in Senegal, West Africa. Thomas has performed in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York and remains active as a performer in the St. Louis metropolitan area, performing regularly at the Sheldon Concert Hall, The St. Louis Jazz Festival, Jazz at the Bistro and other popular jazz events. Thomas continues working as a freelance musician and leading his own bands, The Mardra & Reggie Thomas Jazz Ensemble and OGD (Jazz Organ, Guitar, Drums).


The sultry-satiny sounds of Mardra Thomas have been featured with big bands, small groups, and solo pianists. She has performed in the St. Louis area, around the country, and in other parts of the world. Mardra performs duos with her husband, Reggie Thomas and has entertained with pianists Johnny O?Neal, Dave Venn, Carolbeth True and Eddie Fritz to name a few. She is the featured vocalist with the group OGD. Mardra has toured with the Quartet Tres Bein, and sang with greats such as Clark Terry. Her big band experiences include Door County Wisconsin?s Birch Creek Academy Big Band, the Southern Illinois University Concert Jazz Band, the Jazz Edge Big Band, and the Lincoln Sr. High Big Band with which she toured Europe, as well as the Jim Wider Band. Mardra is heard performing at jazz festivals worldwide.

A talented stage actress, Mardra, has performed in Terry McMillan?s A Day Late And A Dollar Short. She?s been seen as Sister Laura in Unity Theatre Ensembles? Tambourines To Glory, and has also performed at the Alton Little Theatre as 101-year-old Bessie Delaney in Having Our Say. She was Sister Odessa in the Southern Illinois University Theatre production of The Amen Corner. Mardra has delighted audiences performing and touring as Miss Lydia in A Love Song For Miss Lydia; Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson?s Bar and Grill; Lady in Green in For Colored Girls; Mildred(Mama) in the Terry McMillan work Mama; Auntie Em in The Wiz, along with ensemble roles in I Can?t Stop Now, I?ve Got The Music In Me, and The Cotton Club Revue.

Mardra is frequently featured in concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall, including her first, popular, Holiday Jazz Concert in December 2003. As a part of the Sheldon's regular season, Mardra performs in the Sheldon's ?The Jazz Story.? Some of her recordings are Fade To Blue on the Max Jazz Label with her husband Reggie Thomas, and the Jim Wider Big Band?s Live recording. The Mardra & Reggie Thomas Jazz Ensemble engage prominent musicians that entertain throughout the year. They are the highlight of the Years End/Begin Performance at St. Louis? Premier Jazz Venue, Jazz at the Bistro. For a calendar of events and upcoming engagements visit the website.


THE JIM WIDNER BIG BAND - LIVE, features Reggie Thomas on piano

CREEPIN' WITH CLARK with trumpeters Clark Terry and Mike Vax features Reggie Thomas on piano

AZURE EYES with Clay Jenkis, features Reggie Thomas on piano

FADE TO BLUE, features Mardra Thomas on vocals & Reggie Thomas on piano (MAXJAZZ)...Released December 1999

YELLOW FLOWERS AFTER: Clay Jenkins on trumpet, features Reggie Thomas on piano...Released September 1997

KIM RICHMOND BALLADS: Kim Richmond, features Reggie Thomas on piano...Recorded November 1999

TIME THROUGH THE AGES with saxophonist Ahmaad Alaadeen features Reggie Thomas on piano


IVORIES ON THE AVENUE features Reggie Thomas, Released 1994

Set List

GARDENIA's IN THE GARDEN: Performance highlights from the late, great Billie Holiday