David Bennett Thomas
Composer, Pianist, Educator: Classical, Jazz, Choral, Chamber, etc...
“The chamber works of David Bennett Thomas may be categorized as neo-Romantic, neo-tonal, or even as a kind of sophisticated ‘fusion classical’ but these terms by themselves are inadequate to describe the complex mixtures of elements in his music. His strongest pieces reveal both modernist influences and contemporary applications, though blended to sound original and whole, not like self-conscious parodies or pastiches. Thomas is shrewd enough not to wear his influences on his sleeve, and these presumed sources are reworked with jazz harmonies and influences in an idiosyncratic but distinctive post-modern approach.”
Joel Frahm discusses DBT’s music on NPR
Click above to listen to saxophonist Joel Frahm discuss music from the album Headspace on NPR.
Videos With Scores
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Thomas is performing with David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra at several churches in the Philadelphia area, using Thomas' hymn and spiritual arrangements from the "Deep, Deep Love" CD.
Thomas was recently awarded a grant from the American Composers Forum to record "Headspace," a new jazz cd of original material. In the band with DBT is Joel Frahm, John Swana, Matt Davis, Micah Jones, and Erik Johnson. The CD is available on iTunes, CDBaby and other places. Watch the promo videos! Read the All About Jazz review.
A new CD is out! "Deep, Deep Love" consists of over a dozen hymn arrangements and reharmonizations by Thomas, played by a jazz ensemble consisting of George Rabbai (trumpet), Paul Jost (voice), Micah Jones (bass), Larry Marshall (drums), Jason Fraticelli (bass), Brett Payne (guitar), Robert Frazier (horn), Ron Kerber (flute/alto flute/clarinet), and Paul Klinefelter (bass). Listen/order here.
David recently completed a new piece for the British ensemble rarescale. The piece is a duet for alto flute and bassoon called "I Need My Space," and will be premiered at the Colourscape Festival.
Thomas has been commissioned by a consortium of three choruses to write a new choral piece 0n the Langston Hughes poem "Shepherd's Song At Christmas." Commissioning choruses include Brookdale Concordia Chorale, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, and Brandywine Valley Chorale.
Salt Lake Vocal Artists will premiere "Gloria Patris" in Utah, and then take it on their Japan tour.
A new chamber music CD was recently released featuring players from The Philadelphia and Harrisburg Orchestras, rarescale, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Jeffrey Solow, Matthew Bengtson, Joshua Kovach and Terry Klinefelter; on Vectordisc Records. Listen to samples. Listen to a broadcast review by Kile Smith. Read CityPaper review.
David will be featured in an hour long broadcast on WWFM The Classical Network's "Sounds Choral" program on April 21st, which includes conversation and choral pieces from the last few years.
Brady Allred recently conducted "In Time Of Silver Rain" with the chorus Vox Gaudiosa, in Tokyo, Japan.
"Fine Tune" for bass clarinet and eight percussionists was recently premiered by Keith Koons and the U. of Central Florida Percussion ensemble; follwed by a performance and recording in Tampa by Calvin Falwell and The McCormick Percussion Ensemble. Further performances by various other ensembles TBA.
Thomas has enjoyed recently performing a new piece with the chorus The Musical Associates, which involves improvisation on piano while the chorus sings.
The scores of several of Thomas' chamber pieces are now available through Tetractys Publishing.
Thomas recently composed a new piece for Salt Lake Choral Artists (Brady Allred, director) which was premiered at the World Choral Symposium in Argentina, and performed at the International Choral Competition in Arezzo, Italy, where the chorus won five prizes.
A new piece for bass clarinet and bassoon was just finished for the the British ensemble Cuillin Sound, to be premiered in the UK, with additional performances in France.
Thomas has been chosen as the American composer representative to particpate in a choral competition in Croatia: Glazbena Mladez Split. He will judge compositions, and two of his works are on the compulsory list of pieces to be performed. More info.
Thomas' recently recorded a new CD of jazz compositions for Vectordisk inspired by lines from James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Thomas is joined John Swana, Ron Kerber, Kevin Hanson, Micah Jones, Erik Johnson, and Arturo Stable. It is being played across the US on many jazz and NPR stations. Click to listen. Read a review on All About Jazz.
The Vista Trio has been performing Thomas' "Short Suite" for alto flute, english horn, and bass clarinet on many music festivals and concert series throughout England.
The Gregg Smith Singers recently premiered a new work for chorus and organ in New York City, on Emily Dickinson's poem "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear."
Thomas recently traveled to Santiago, Chile to work with the students and faculty at the ProJazz school.
Coro de Cámara Ainur will perform "In Time Of Silver Rain" on the Canary Islands, Spain.
A new choral work commissioned for the choir at North Andover High School, Massachusetts, was recently premiered at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
David recently traveled to London to record Paths, with Carla Rees (alto flute) and David Black (guitar) of rarescale.
David's Mass was recently aired on the program Classical Discoveries, www.wprb.com. "Short Suite" was aired on the program "Now Is The Time," on WRTI, Philadelphia.
A new album - Piano Works 2001-2009 -is now available. It includes the four piano sonatas, Four Etudes, and Conundrum (for two pianos). The performances are by Charles Abramovic, Matthew Bengtson, Carl Cranmer, and Gary Gress. Piano Sonata #2 was recently aired on WPRB, Princeton and on "Now Is The Time" WRTI Philadelphia.
David traveled to Israel for a performance of "Imagined Corners" for chorus, alto flute, and harp, with Naked Voices; Tamir Chasson, director.
A new recording is in the works with Erik Johnson, Micah Jones, Joel Frahm, Vic Juris, and John Swana.
The band that recorded the “Deep, Deep Love” CD has been performing with David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.