Virtuosic steel pan musician Leon “Foster” Thomas has appeared worldwide, playing with such diverse artists as Melton Mustafa, Nathan Davis, Richard Smallwood, Nicole Henry, Dolly Parton, Cyril Neville, Mighty Sparrow, and Richard Bailey, to name a few.
A native of Trinidad, Thomas credits the pan yards of Trinidad and Tobago for his initial musical training. In 2002 and again in 2004, he won the titles of World Steelband Music Festival Soloist and Duet Champion. In 2010, Thomas released his first solo album What You Don’t Know illustrating his versatility among various music genres. His latest release Brand New Mischief has received raves from publications including All About Jazz, Jazz Weekly, Trinidad Guardian, and Caribbean Beat.
Thomas is also a recognized composer, arranger, and drummer. His composition for Steel Pan soloist Shiron Cooper won her top prize at the 26th Biennial Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival. As arranger for Miami Pan Symphony Steel Orchestra, he won the 2005 and 2006 Miami Carnival Bomb Competitions, and Miami’s 2009 Panorama Competition. As arranger for Crossfire Steel Orchestra, his band placed 2nd in New York’s West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s Panorama Steelband Competition. In 2005 and 2007, he was drummer for the winner of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Panorama, Phase II Pan Groove, and Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille.
A prominent figure on the Miami music scene, Thomas also conducts clinics on jazz, Caribbean music, and the steel pan art form. Joining him on stage are artists Martin Bejerano (piano), Kurt Hengstebeck (bass), and Mike Piolet (drums).