“Pan Master Leon Foster Thomas has taken the instrument most associated with his homeland of Trinidad, right into the heart of jazz composition and performance, in a bold rhythmic and melodic encounter.” -All About Jazz
Leon Foster Thomas is a unique force in modern jazz. All About Jazz has labeled him as “the next big thing on his instrument”; “his gift is an ability to bring forth any style with abandon, and play his steel pan as if it belonged in jazz all along…there are times when Leon Foster Thomas plays his steel pan like Gary Burton on vibes” (Examiner.com). Winner of the World Steelband Music Festival’s Soloist and Duet competitions in 2002 and 2004, Leon has worked with artists such as: Hugh Masekela, Melton Mustafa, Vince Mendoza, Richard Smallwood, Kevin Mahogany, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Dolly Parton, Slinger Francisco “The Mighty Sparrow”, Cyril Neville, and many more. His latest release, Metamorphosis, on Ropeadope Records (June 3rd, 2016) exemplifies his growth and maturation as a musician. Honing his in-depth talents as a musical storyteller, Leon has produced an album which perfectly illustrates his transformative journey. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Leon holds a Master in Music degree from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida Memorial University.