Michele Thomas

Instrument: Vocalist | Location: Chicago

Updated: December 17, 2018

Born: March 8, 1973

Michele Thomas is an American jazz musician, vocalist and songwriter from Chicago, IL. From growing up singing in church, to co-founding North Park University’s gospel choir, to performing and teaching in Scandinavia, and then carrying that skill back to her hometown, Michele Thomas and her talents have carried her through a fantastic array of experiences within the massive world that is, music. By combining her gospel background with her deep love of jazz and appreciation for contemporary soul and R&B, Michele has crafted a sound that doesn’t conform to one genre, but rather elegantly evokes the elements that make these genres so dynamic.

Michele’s life and career began and grew in Chicago, Illinois. Born the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher in the Church of God In Christ, Michele grew up on a steady diet of gospel music. The impact it had on her, even at a young age was profound. As she recalls:

“I remember as a little girl listening to a gospel record of Vanessa Bell Armstrong, holding the record jacket and just crying as I listened to her sing. Her voice made me want to be more in my life. Music can go deeper than just your surface emotion and actually change minds and hearts.”

These feelings, along with her innate talents, led to Michele arranging and conducting her church’s choir while she was still in her preteen years. Her continued cultivation of those skills rewarded her with a position in the Chicago All-City choir and a scholarship to the Sherwood Conservatory of Music. Ultimately this led to Michele attending the aforementioned North Park University, graduating with a B.A. in music, and establishing their gospel choir. Her contributions there have been acknowledged through the years and on the 15th anniversary of the choir’s founding she was invited back to perform with prominent gospel musician, Richard Smallwood.

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”Vocalist Michele Thomas is one of those new artists that you anxiously wait to hear more from, after their first CD has been released. Indeed, if larks could record CDs, they'd sound like Michele. She has a style that is joyful and soulful, her love for jazz music emanates through her scats and song phrasing.

This is one artist that you have no choice but to “dig” and I mean really sit up and listen. And that goes for even those who may not be hardcore jazz fanatics. Even if traditional jazz isn't your thing, Michele's seven track CD I'll Take Romance would change your mind before you could say the title of her CD.

Michele sounds like an old jazz soul on the jazz standard “I'll Take Romance” and sings it with a level of familiarity as if it were written for her. Wayne Shorter's “Black Nile” never sounded so good and Michele shows off her skills as she adds lyrics to this jazz instrumental standard.

Delve into “My One and Only Love” and Stevie Wonder's “Where Were You When I Needed You” and see how mellow and pleasant they are

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Primary Instrument

Vocalist

Location

Chicago

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Michele Thomas is a professional vocalist concentrating in jazz, pop and gospel genres. With over ten years of classical training she has had extensive performance experience in jazz, gospel, background vocals and musical theater. She has also spent the past thirteen years training and conducting gospel and children’s choirs. Michele has made repeated appearances across the U.S. and Sweden as a guest lecturer/workshop clinician on the subject of gospel music and many performances throughout the U.S

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Followers

All About Jazz user Zach Larmer All About Jazz user Billie Davies PR All About Jazz user Jean-Michel Tengang All About Jazz user Vincent Eury All About Jazz user Michele Thomas All About Jazz user Victor Samalot All About Jazz user Mark Haskins

Recordings