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Igmar Thomas

Maestro, Trumpeter, conductor, composer and arranger Igmar Thomas is a visionary artist and linchpin of the modern vanguard. His fluency and knack for transmuting the genres of the African diaspora make him one of the most sought-after minds in contemporary music. An alumnus of Berklee College of Music and former student of trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Roy Hargrove, Thomas’ role varies from featured artist to sideman and band leader to maestro and musical director on international tours for artists like Esperanza Spalding and Kamasi Washington.

Thomas serves as the Music Director for legendary artist Busta Rhymes and celebrity DJ D-Nice, and previously for Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill earned him the praise of hip-hop icons DJ Kool Herc, DJ Premier and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who likened Thomas’ musical directing talents to that of Teddy Riley and DeVante Swing. He proudly serves as an ambassador of black musical culture at the helm of Igmar Thomas & The Cypher, the acclaimed Revive Big Band and the phenomenal Revive Orchestra. Thomas’ boundless creativity enables him to serve as a conduit for the harmonious synthesis of various genres, eras and musical styles. His approach to musicianship has empowered peers and legends to embrace the freedom inherent in rejecting purist notions and making music outside of the box.

Buoyed by the musical diversity of his upbringing in a household of audiophiles, Igmar Thomas began playing the trumpet at age 11 in his native San Diego, California. He continued to foster his passion, studying jazz in high school. Thomas’ talent soon found him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Thundercat, Terrace Martin and Kamasi Washington at gigs on the West Coast. During that time, a chance encounter earned him the mentorship of legendary bandleader and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, who awarded Thomas a full scholarship to the Lionel Hampton School of Music, and the opportunity to perform in his big band. 

Thomas would continue his education at the aforementioned Berklee on a full scholarship. There, an immersive undergraduate experience preceded the leap to New York City, upon receipt of his bachelor’s degree. In 2010, he founded the groundbreaking Revive Big Band. Since then, Igmar Thomas has become a fixture in venues across NYC and around the world, where he is renowned for his ability to deconstruct, reimagine and elevate the American canon according to futurist notions and encyclopedic knowledge of musical styles. 

Thomas has directed ensembles and played stages at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, NBA All Star Weekend, Newport Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl, and The Apollo Theater. Some notable international venues include The Royal Albert Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, and Montreux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury Festival. 

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Coincidental Moment

Ruby Slippers Productions


Paradise Cove

Ruby Slippers Productions


Everyday Anthem

From: Coincidental Moment
By Igmar Thomas

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