“You clearly know what you’re doing, and it’s great…congrats on an impressive career.”

- Dave Grusin,  Legendary GRAMMY® winning Music Producer / Arranger / Musician, ACADEMY AWARD® winner, and the G in GRP Records) 


Though surrounded by country music while growing
up in the small town of Cecilia, Kentucky, Michael J. Thomas’ parents
thankfully filled his childhood with a steady stream of legendary R&B/pop
artists who would later become muses – Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire,
Michael Jackson, and Prince. Thomas studied piano at the age of seven and
switched to saxophone in seventh grade—shortly after discovering contemporary
jazz artists like Yellowjackets and Dave Grusin on a Technics demo
disc that came with a stereo his dad purchased. It was in his high school jazz
band rehearsal one late evening when all of his ear training and emulation of
other saxophonists finally came together. The band was performing a
run-through of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” that had a transcribed alto
sax solo that Thomas deviated from. He says, “For some reason it all
came together in an instant while taking the solo lead. It finally clicked and
I could improvise. The band and the Director were so impressed that they
stopped playing the song and clapped for me. It was really at that moment, that
my musical journey began.”

By his senior year in high school, he was
performing in the All-State Jazz Band and was honored with a John Philip Sousa
Award. He earned a music scholarship to the University of Kentucky but left
school early to pursue his professional career. Thomas was 19 when he joined
the Jive Rockets, which opened for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Big
Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Bill Haley’s Original Comets. While gaining a
foothold in contemporary urban jazz since moving to Destin, Thomas’ busy gig
schedule allows him to both play sax and sing in a wide array of genres.

Thomas, who became an instant contemporary urban
jazz sensation when his single “Baby Coffee” stayed at #1 on
the Billboard National Smooth Jazz Airplay and Smooth Jazz Songs
charts in 2017/2018, has been on a momentous roll. “I’ll Never Love Again,” his
explosive re-imagining of the Lady Gaga hit from “A Star is Born,” became his
second #1 Billboard smash, dominating the smooth jazz airwaves throughout 2019.
Thomas’ cleverly titled, silky light funk follow-up single “Sippin’ The
Yak” hit #2 on the charts, remained in the Top 5 for nine weeks and
rounded out 2020 on Billboard’s Year-End Smooth Jazz Songs chart at #5. His
latest endeavor, 2022/23, is an EP titled Outside The Door that features
Michael’s first-ever original Holiday song, “It's Christmas,” co-written and
recorded with Grammy-nominated vocalist MAYSA. The song garnered national airplay
including SiriusXM Watercolors and a crossover to SiriusXM’s Holiday Soul.
Other notable artists on the record are guitarist Chieli Minucci of Special EFX,
legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker on a Tears for Fears cover with proceeds
benefiting Ukrainian musicians, and Nashville’s famed horn band The Smoking
Section. The second radio release, “The OG Bounce,” peaked at #15 on the Billboard
charts and rounded out the year at #24 on the year-end chart.

In addition to receiving terrestrial radio
airplay across the globe, Thomas’ music has been featured on Sirius XM’s
Watercolors, The Weather Channel, and in the Warner Bros. film “Contagion”
starring Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne. Thomas has built a solid regional
following via performances at local venues, private shows, festivals and concerts,
in addition to numerous performances at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama
City Beach. He has also performed at the prestigious Catalina Island JazzTrax
Festival in California. He is currently a Grammy voting member of the
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.