Thales Thomas “Skipp” Pearson, South Carolina’s ambassador of Jazz Music, played professionally for the first time at the age of 14, leading his first commercial band at age 15.
Upon completion of his formal education, Pearson spent 4 years in the United States Air Force. An enlisted man, with a distinguished military career, Pearson also performed professionally throughout the United States and in Western Europe while faithfully serving his country.
In 1965, Pearson enrolled in Claflin College, now Claflin University, to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. As career educator, Pearson has taught scores of public school children the importance, and benefits of having music in their lives. For 30 years, Pearson served as the general music teacher, as well as, band director in Bamberg and Clarendon School Districts, building the first band programs, that still survives today, to children in those areas. After many years of community service activities, Pearson officially retired from the South Carolina National Guard Band in November of 1997.
Over the years, Pearson amazing professional career has allowed him to share the stage with renowned musicians to include: Sam Cooke, Wycliffe Gordon, Patti LaBelle, Chris Potter, Otis Redding, Patti Austin, Drink Smalls, Fred Wesley, Pete Neighbour, Dick Goodwin, Ron Westray, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and many, many others.