Mr. Thomas Mackay is a native of the Midwest and studied percussion and composition at University of North Dakota and Mayville State University and Casper College. He studied privately with Gordon Stout, Bill Molenhof, David Friedman and Mike Mainieri, some of the world’s most accomplished vibraphonists.
While primary recognized as a jazz vibraphonist, Thomas’ equally remarkable talents as a drummer, keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer has contributed to a vast array of musical genres.
Thomas has shared the stage with saxophonist Rob Scheps, jazz legend Clark Terry, B3 legend Merle Sanders and percussionist Gerado Velez (of Jimi Hendrix, and Spyro Gyra fame). He has collaborated on recordings with spoken word artist David Greenberger and also performs regularly with Tommy James, pianist and director of the Duke Ellington orchestra.
As a recording artis, he has recorded six projects as leader and composer, which have been recognized by The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts. His works have been nominated multiple times for best jazz , best instrumental album of the year at the Na Hoku Hanohano awards in 2020 - 2021 (Hawaii’s version of the Grammy’s) Thomas has contributed, both performing and composing, to countless other artists throughout this career, many of which have been recognized by the National Academy of Recording Arts.
As a producer and keyboardist, he has toured and recorded with Studio One reggae legend Norma Fraser and the California based reggae band Synrgy. In 2020 he produced and wrote music for Hawaiian reggae artist Lady Patrice on her album Looking Forward, and he received yet another nomination for a Na Hoku Hanohano award for best reggae album of the year in 2021.
Using his drumming talents, in 2022 he co-founded two of Hawaii’s best hard rock bands The Honolulu Witchez, which focuses on original material and War Pigs, a Black Sabbath tribute band, He has also been the drummer for the nationally known Madame Ozzy on her 2023 Hawaii tour.
Thomas and his wife Sheral, along with their dog Buddy, currently reside in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he has been an active teacher of vibraphone, drums, and music theory, throughout the islands and online with students near and far. He and his wife founded Unicorn Productions 808, LLC which presents a monthly jazz concert series Jazz in The Gallery, supporting local jazz musicians and original music from Hawaii. In their spare time they enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer.
Mr. Mackay is an endorser for the following companies:
Malletech: vibraphones, pickup systems and mallets
Alternate Mode: Malletkat, a midi vibraphone
Motion Pro: drum thrones.