Luke Thomas is a musical chameleon. His command of many different styles from jazz to progressive metal, afro-beat to funk and reggae, to pop and classical makes him one of the most sought-after instructors and guitarists in Southern California. With influences ranging from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Metallica, Hendrix to Wes Montgomery, and Santana to Jobim, he has studied and taught almost every style of music. Luke has been teaching privately for over eighteen years and is a faculty member at LA College of Music (formerly LAMA) and has also directed jazz and rock camps at University of Wisconsin and elsewhere. His own experience starting as a self-taught musician to teaching at the college level has given him a level of understanding of the best way to get his students from Point A to Point B. “I believe that music should be fun and expressive, and that it can make a big difference in people’s lives, like it did for mine,” he says. “I love sharing that passion with other musicians and students and I feel that music is a life-long journey and we’re on it together.”
After graduating from University of Wisconsin with a degree in jazz studies, including supplemental training at Berklee School of Music and Milwaukee Conservatory of Music, Luke has established himself as a composer, collaborator, sideman, songwriter, and band leader. He has served as guitarist and backup vocalist as a member of SuperNaked, Empire of One, and eEnik. He has also worked repeatedly as a featured guest with the Midwest-based Jazz Orgy and performed and recorded with San Francisco-based world music and reggae artist Renee Asteria. As a in-demand musician in Southern California, he has had the honor of working as Musical Director of the Witzenders (houseband for legendary LA West-side club Witzend), and has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as famous session bassist Abe Laboriel Sr., British singer-songwriter James Carrington, Twiggie Ramirez (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails), LA artist Bianca Caruso (Zabruso), The Voice alumni Jordis Unga and Justin Hopkins, Carmen Perez, and American Idol finalist Justin Carter. He also performs regularly as a solo artist.