ANITA THOMAS (reeds & vocals) Growing up in Sydney, Australia, Anita was exposed to many types of music. By the age of 10, she was studying guitar, flute, and clarinet as well as singing in choirs. As a high school student at an arts school affiliated with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she focused on the classical, that is, until she heard her first live jazz performance, at which point she was inspired to shift her musical focus. She taught herself how to play the saxophone and formed a jazz quartet with her bass playing sister, performing on radio and TV.
Anita went on to earn an Associate Diploma of Jazz Studies from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and began teaching and performing. She was soon invited to tour in Europe and Thailand. In the mid to late 1990’s, she co-hosted a weekly jazz radio program, formed the Anita Thomas Quartet/Quintet, and recorded two albums. In 2001, Anita left Australia for Los Angeles, California, and began studying under jazz masters Jeff Clayton and Eugene “The Senator”J. Wright, as well as becoming active in the West Coast jazz performance and recording scene. In 2008, Anita moved again, this time to the Baltimore, Maryland area performing with the Brooks Tegler Big Band, Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, and the Blue Crescent Syncopators, releasing her 3rd album “Dominos” in 2014.
Ms Thomas’ music genre range is wide, incorporating jazz, pop, rock, blues and gospel. You can read more about her on her website www.anitathomas.com. This is Anita’s first year with the NC Jazz Festival.