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, Randy Brecker, Richard Smallwood, Kevin Mahogany, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Dolly Parton, Slinger Francisco “The Mighty Sparrow”, Igor and Oleg Butman, Cyril Neville, and many more.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Foster, as he is also called, was born in the southern city of San Fernando. He credits his parents, for his musical voice and local pan yards for his initial musical training. After graduating from secondary school in Trinidad, Leon received a scholarship to attend Florida Memorial University.