Tracy Kash Thomas
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Tracy Kash Thomas

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit, Michigan, United States
Band Jazz Soul


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"Tracy Kash Thomas - Sound Truth"

Tracy Kash Thomas’ third CD is a delicate balance between intellect, humor and vibe . She has something to say and she often says it with a wry grin. On this album, Thomas favors floating soothing, sweet vocals over jazz-tinged grooves.
When asked if she tended to write groove first, Tracy responded, “I never really thought about it, but I’m pretty sure I do. When it comes to writing music, I’ve been more influenced by 70’s and 80’s soul and groove-pop than any other styles. Regardless of the feel or original concept of a tune I’m currently working on, there’s always a little group in the back of my head consisting of Billy Preston, Chaka Khan, Donald Fagen, Diane Reeves, and Tower of Power! Those sounds and grooves really laid the foundation for the way I write today.”

Even without knowing that Thomas has degrees from the University of North Texas and the Boston Conservatory, it’s quite obvious by the precision that she plays that she takes her music seriously. However, as previously stated, her lyrics are saturated with an almost biting tongue-in-cheek quality. So who is she? Is she a serious woman or a silly one? “I would say I’m split right down the middle. It’s nice to hear that my music reflects that, so thanks for the confirmation!” Tracy
expressed. “I definitely do take my music seriously — I had no choice when studying as a classical musician in college and grad school, it was the only way to get ahead. It’s very competitive, given there are so few jobs in that genre. It’s really tough. I think that’s why I fell away from the classical scene. It was a little TOO serious for me. I think I needed to lighten up my surroundings a little.”

“I also found that I loved writing my own music in the styles that resonate the most with me. Songwriting turned out to be a great outlet. I can be a VERY silly person — ask anyone who knows me well!”

“ It ’s nice that the two facets of my personality can work well together in that way and almost feed each other. I need to be silly to stay sane! For me, there has to be a balance,” Tracy concluded.

One of the most impressive tracks on her album is the well thought out “Mona Lisa.” Both the lyrics and the music contain some rather pleasant surprises.
“I’m very proud of that song,” Tracy commented. “I read a very brief article in Yahoo! News a few years ago. Some scholars in Heidelberg had discovered some
documents confirming the true identity of and some background details on Mona Lisa, the subject of Da Vinci’s famous painting (she was Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo). The story was very report-flavored, unromantic, and brief. I thought she deserved a bigger, more rich story, so I wrote one.”

“I think the melody was formed by the lyrics in this case, at least at the start of the songwriting process for this tune. The first line ‘So many theories about you’ just sort of wrote i ts own melody. It suggested a very conversational rhythm and I just went with it. “ I love when some lines can just write themselves that way. I try not to fight it and just go with the idea.

In “If You’d Only Picked Me,” you hint that you might be privy to some much guarded information, so I have to ask: How do you Zombie-proof your house?!
“Excellent question. I’m SO glad you asked!” Thomas replied. “My husband and I are huge horror movie fans. We often have very silly and somehow logical
conversations about weird situational things we’ve seen in movies or read about. How would you handle some of these ridiculous move scenarios should they somehow squeeze their way into your life? Somehow, we got on the subject of ‘How would you ready yourself for a zombie invasion? How would you zombie-proof
your house?’ and it just struck me how couples that are very close often have odd
conversations, things they would most likely not admit to their friends. (I guess I just blew THAT, didn’t I?). My husband is my absolute best friend, I can and do talk to him about anything. Nothing’s really off-limits — it’s wonderful. Somehow, I haven’t
managed to scare him away — it just makes us closer.” “So, that’s what I was getting at in the tune ‘If You’d Only Picked Me.’ The couple in that song had gotten
to that point, broke up, and now she’s asking ‘NOW who are you going to talk to about how to zombie-proof your house?!’ She’s really saying, ‘Will you ever be that
close with anyone again? If so, it’ll take years until you get to that point! So in your face, guy who broke my heart!’ Damn, it’s fun to be a songwriter. Definitely cheaper
than therapy!” - Songwriter's Monthly - October 2010

"Tracy Kash Thomas - Sound Truth"

The joy here is that Tracy Kash Thomas sings of familiar issues with an enormous sense of hope and feeling. Like Joni Mitchell or Carole King, this well-trained musician connects, and the ordinary is suddenly extraordinary.

"Take It Too Far" tells of a romance that blossomed from friendship — "It's time we ruined this friendship/ it's time we take it too far" — while in "Bubble" she encloses herself for protection: "No more wading through the rubble/ when everyone's dead weight comes down on me." "Hold My Hand, Zoey" covers any parent's natural desire to protect her child, and she sings, "You're the prize I've won/ now my life's begun," with refreshing and unironic honesty. Sound Truth succeeds spectacularly because Thomas' love for life bursts forth even in melancholy moments. It's the kind of joy that's infectious. —Brett Callwood - Detroit MetroTimes


For one fretful moment in 2001, classically trained singer/composer Tracy Kash Thomas wondered if returning to Detroit was a mistake.

“I remember driving up in the moving van, thinking, ‘Now what?’ ” Thomas says.

It had been 14 years since the Oak Park native left Michigan to study jazz vocals and classical flute at the University of North Texas. She had earned a master’s degree from the esteemed Boston Conservatory, and in 1995, moved to New York City, where she performed original songs for six years.

“It’s a tough scene,” she says. “Doors are slammed in your face before you even knock on them.”

Thomas’ struggles and joys are the themes behind her second CD, There and Back Again (2006). Relocation Song reflects her angst about coming home. The jazzy Person I Adore is a love song to her husband, John Thomas, whom she met two months after returning to Detroit.

Her vocals are reminiscent of Carole King, but the style is harder to categorize.

“People ask me, ‘So what kind of music do you do?’ I just sit there and go, ‘Jazz, R&B, rock, singer/songwriter …’

“I don’t know if that gives people a picture of what I am,” she says with a laugh.

With such varied musical interests, no inspiration is beyond Thomas’ grasp.When a friend adopted a child from Guatemala, Thomas composed a lullaby influenced by Guatemalan music. Then she overheard a father say, “Hold my hand, Zoey” in a store, and she had her title. The result is a wistful song of parental hopes and dreams she plans to include on her next CD.

Thomas has become a popular performer in Detroit. In addition to her own band, she plays keyboards and flute in the Celtic quartet McCabe’s Ladies, which the band says is metro Detroit’s only all-women Celtic group.

“I’m glad I moved back home,” she says. “I was waiting to regret the decision, but I never did.”

Places Thomas loves to hear music
Your Place Lounge 17326 E. Warren Ave., Detroit 313.881.4850, “They have a lot of jazz and blues jam sessions. It’s really great and really serious.”

Cliff Bell’s 2030 Park Ave., Detroit 313.961.2543, “It’s such a beautiful club. You really feel like you’re in a 1940s Parisian jazz club.”

Thomas’ favorite local musicians
Jo Serraperre “We both write … across several styles. She does a lot of roots music and jazz/swing from the ’30s and ’40s. Her lyrics just floor me.”

Chris McCall “She’s a great singer and a great writer. Listening to her really inspires me.”

Ursula Walker “In my opinion, she’s the best jazz singer in Detroit. She’s just phenomenal.”

Thomas’ favorite artists
Los Lobos “They do a lot of authentic Mexican folktype things, and then they just turn over and burn up the blues stage. They’re like two bands in one.”

Jacqui Naylor “She does very much what I do: a lot of jazz and R&B/singer-songwriter stuff with this deep alto. It’s nice to hear people cross over.”

See and hear Thomas
8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7 – Memphis Smoke, Royal Oak, 248.543.4300

10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 – Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor: Passionate About Pink Concert for the Cause, to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; 734.663.0681,

11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 – Jazz Brunch at The Common Grill, Chelsea; 734.475.0470,

For more information and to hear samples, check out

- Sharon MacDonnell - Strut Magazine

"Tracy Kash Thomas - Featured Artist"

Featured Artist: Tracy-Kash Thomas

CD Title: There and Back Again

Year: 2006

Record Label: Independent

Style: Jazz Vocals

Review: Accomplished flutist, songwriter, singer, Tracy Kash Thomas has done it again, with the release of her latest CD, There And Back Again, shows her vocal skills, expressing her human experience and amazing her audience.

In a mix of jazz-pop, Thomas opens her album with “My Own Worst Enemy,” revealing her discovery of life’s bigness. Telling the story of finding her own melody, Thomas seeks harmony in life, as she makes her way through a series of life-changing events.

Finding the “Person I Adore” turns Thomas’ tone upbeat, even hopeful as she expresses her relief at finding that special person. Light, airy flute bridges the words, while rhythm is maintained by a soft, percussive bass and drum.

Taking us through her life journey, Thomas offers light, airy inflections to contrast her deeper notes on “Make Me Blue,” after the love has moved on.—giving her inspiration to write. Kris Kurzawa provides an interesting mix on guitars between chorus and finish

Flirty, light, perky, “Distraction” picks up the beat, taking the listener into a swingy mood. Again, Kurzawa frets a plucky string. “Under The Bridge” gives drummer, Bill Higgins, a chance to come out front and create a funky balance to Thomas’ crystal clear voice.

Closing the CD with “Hunger,” Thomas accompanies her voice with soft keyboards, completing her story telling venture, explaining ‘no one should wait too long to free themselves’ in life.

Tracy Kash Thomas has a clear, easy to understand voice. Her accompaniments are a tight group of players. Already featured on radio stations in Detroit, Thomas is on her way to establishing her independence as an artist.

Tracks: My Own Worst Enemy, Relocation Song, One More Day, Person I Adore, Make Me Blue, Distraction, Under The Bridge, Dear Betty, One Night, Hunger

Artist's Website:

Reviewed by: Nina Goodrich

"Tracy Kash Thomas - "There and Back Again""

Tracy Kash Thomas, with her pale complexion and Asian dress, suggests a frail flower vocalist. But the lightly funky “My Own Worst Enemy” opener tells a different story. This singer is sassy, confident and assertive.

There and Back Again touches upon jazz elements in addition to soul stirrings. She uses groove-oriented backing tracks to support girl power songs. Although her words are mostly straightforward and serious, “Hunger” takes a lighthearted approach with lines like, “fear is not your happy friend.” Like most other independent artists, Thomas has big league dreams. She gets straight to that point on “Relocation Song” where she asks: “When you hear this, will you take pity and offer me a record deal and everything I hope I deserve?”

Thomas helped found an all women a cappella group called Lorelei. She is also an accomplished flute player. Heck, her song “Home” is even found on the CD ROM accompanying “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to MP3,” so she has plenty of irons in the fire.

But if and when Thomas gets that label offer she cannot refuse, it will not come out of pity – as is jokingly suggested by “Relocation Song.” Thomas has a strong and distinctive voice, one that demands to be heard. Any success she achieves will most certainly be earned.

by Dan MacIntosh, -

"Tracy Kash Thomas"

Cytra (BMI) couldn't have had a better artist than Tracy Kash Thomas. Anyone who has had the opportunity to hear her latest work, There and Back Again, will find that in this modern world of music of vocals only made pretty with special effects, it comes by naturally with Thomas, whose lush vocals, intriguing lyrics, and jazzy beats takes a song in any style and makes it completely her own.

Thomas possesses the vocal power that reminds everyone in this artificially developed, studio-produced world that there are still some vocalists who can still sing; especially on selections such as My Own Worst Enemy and Under
the Bridge.

This CD is enjoyable for all. It has a little bit of everything, even for those who normally wouldn't listen to Thomas' type of music. Her vocal powers are supple and her phrasing is sublime as well. She sings with different types of emotion that are infectious to the listener and seems to be having as much fun singing as I was listening.

Those who appreciate true music sung and performed by artists who know how to do it right will no doubt love There and Back Again. Tracy Kash Thomas is a true talent with the best voice I have heard in years and the songwriting on all the selections of this CD is no less than top notch. This is indeed independent music at its best that will be staying in my CD changer for many weeks to come.

- L. Anne Carrington, Indie Music Stop - Indie Music Stop

"Review of "Some Strong Potion""

Tracy Kash honestly has one of the most fantastic voices I've heard in a long time. Just amazing. The music here is heavily influenced by R&B and Jazz. There are even moments when I could swear I'm listening to a female version of Stevie Wonder. (I *love* Stevie Wonder. This is music that's familiar to me - music I grew up with.) Her band provides just the right mix of backup for that stunny voice of hers, their own skill at what they do, incredibly obvious. The songwriting is first class. The album this demonstration song is taken from, is called Some Strong Potion and this is indie stuff at its finest. These songs aren't meant for the "3 minute radio" format. They're meaty pieces (one of them is actually over 6 minutes long - and I barely noticed!) with heart and soul oozing out of every pore. Take a listen to this sample and you'll see what I mean, but the entire album really needs a listen in order to get what Tracy and her band are all about. I highly recommend you take the time.

- Jodi Krangle, Proprietress of Muse's Muse, - Muse's Muse, The Ultimate Songwriters' Website

"Tracy Kash Thomas - "Sound Truth" Review"

Tracy is an American singer-songwriter that put a smile on this reviewers face. There is a real jazz feel to Tracy’s music, which is a good thing as it differs from the current pop/r’n’b chart filled music. This lady is one in a million that deserves to be heard. Her voice is powerful, full of soul and is one that you will never tire of hearing. This girl is a genius when it comes to melodies and sound effects, making this genre of music appeal to everybody. With added elements of flutes, hand percussions, a cello, while among your guitars and drums make Tracy’s music fresh and appealing. Tracy’s songs are heartfelt with amazing mellow lyrics that are perfect to relax to or for that summer drive to the beach. Her song ‘’ Mona Lisa’’ and ‘’Take it to Far’’ are the real gems that show what Tracy is made of. But across the entire [cd] you will not be disappointed and this girl deserves to be heard.
-By Jennifer Ormsby, Music Review Unsigned
June 2010
- Music Review Unsigned


Some Strong Potion - Released 2000
There and Back Again - Released 2006
Sound Truth - to be released April 2010



Thomas's music represents the variety of genres in which she has shown she can comfortably and brilliantly immerse herself, including swing, Latin jazz, R&B, and roots rock. Thomas began her musical life as a classical musician. Armed with a Bachelor's degree from University of North Texas, a veritable jazz factory producing musicians such as Lou Marini and Stefan Karlsson - and a Master's degree from the venerable Boston Conservatory, Tracy is an accomplished flutist. Add her impeccable songwriting, arranging and production talents to the mix and it is easy to see why she is an established musician's musician in her native Detroit, where she currently lives, as well as in her previous hometown, New York City. Her unique brand of jazz-influenced rock/pop, thrills live audiences as well as her growing radio following.

Tracy won the 2009 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist and has been nominated for numerous others including Outstanding Jazz Composer, R&B Composer, R&B Artist, Modern Jazz Band, and in 2007 for Best Jazz Album for her release, There and Back Again.

She has performed with a variety of stellar talent including Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull fame, Tom Prasada-Rao, Jo Serrapere, and Roberta Flack to name a few. Her 2010 release "Sound Truth" made the Metrotimes's "Top 10 of 2010" list, as indicated by author Brett Callwood and was also nominated for a 2011 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding R&B Recording.

Her song entitled "Home" can be heard on the CD ROM, which accompanies The Complete Idiot's Guide to MP3. Tracy can be heard on the 1999 release of gravelly popular NYC great, Alan Andrews, entitled Cleaned and Pressed.