I'll Take Romance
Michele has been performing jazz in Chicago for over a decade. In that time she has managed to perform at such legendary venues as Chicago's own Green Mill, and worked with such well-known musicians as bassists Kelly Sill and Michael Arnopol, and pianist Ryan Cohen. Recognized for her 'Ella-esque' tone and the musical coloring of 'Sarah', Michele Thomas brings a vibrant spirit to the voice of jazz. With her warm, heartfelt delivery and mean scat solos, she has won over the hearts of her fans and the jazz community! She, like many of the great singers, grew up singing gospel music in the church. But for the last few years, Michele Thomas has zealously pursued finding her voice in the jazz idiom; so much so that she has already caught the attention of such distinguished jazz vocalists as Kevin Mahogany and Sheila Jordan. The daughter of a minister and the progeny of Chicago's gospel saturated Church of God In Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) denomination; Michele's musicality was nurtured and developed in significant ways. From the time she was a small child she sang in her school choir, nurturing her passion for harmonies and improvisation. By the time she entered junior high, Michele was a member of the Chicago All-City choir and in her junior year of high school, she won a scholarship to study voice at the Sherwood Music Conservatory of Music. It was that same year that Michele joined her high school jazz band and discovered her passion for jazz. When Michele went to college she continued her music studies, fervently striving to bring all the types of music she loved into her learning experience. From her dedication towards her classical training, to her participation in the university's jazz band--where she brought home an award for 'Most Outstanding Individual Performance' from the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival--Michele gave herself to many musical genres. Throughout this time, Michele kept strong ties to her gospel heritage, and as a college freshman, Michele founded and conducted North Park University's very first gospel choir. Her tremendous success with this group was evident in the rapid growth of the choir that sprouted from a small ensemble of 12 to a massive assembly of over 100 members in just the four years that Michele was a student. Her charisma in gospel singing as well as conducting not only won the praise of her immediate campus community, but also caught the interest of international gospel musicians. So in both 1996 and 1998, Michele was invited to tour in Sweden performing and teaching gospel music to Scandinavian audiences. Even as Michele has inherited the riches of a great gospel music heritage, her transition (while yet not at all a departure) into the jazz idiom has been met with fast and noteworthy success. Michele has a bachelor's degree in music from North Park University and has studied at both the Bloom School of Jazz and The Music Institute of Chicago. Michele has also studied with the likes of jazz vocalist, Spider Saloff and Sheila Jordan, pianist and jazz educator, Dan Haerle and B-3 Hammond organist extraordinaire, Hank Marr, Dr. Billy Taylor and drummer, Winard Harper. Michele is currently performing with a quartet of talented up and coming musicians featuring Ted Hogarth on saxophones, Darren Scorza on drums, Neal Alger on guitar and Bob Lovecchio on bass. Michele has also performed at such Chicago venues as The Green Mill, Green Dolphin Street, Pete Miller's, Blue Water Grill, Katerina's, and The Gateway Bar And Grill. Her debut CD, "I'll Take Romance" has also received airplay on some of Chicago's prominent jazz radio stations such as WBEZ 91.5 and WDCB College of Dupage Radio 90.9. She is currently working on the release of her second album, "Messenger", due out in the fall of 2007.