Anita Thomas, a native of Sydney, Australia, has been gigging since her high school days. She freelanced around Sydney with her own band and as a sideman working in clubs, pubs, concert venues (the Sydney Opera House many times) and sporting arenas. She also played in pit orchestras for musicals and stage shows. In Australia she performed with many great local musicians including James Morrison, John Morrison, Don Burrows, George Golla and recorded on many of the Wiggles albums (an Australian created children’s music group). Her own jazz quintet performed at many Australia jazz festivals and she toured Australia with local and International artists. She recorded 2 self titled CD’s and was in demand in the recording studio.
Anita spent 5 years living in California where she was a regular with notable big bands – the Tim Davies Big Band, the Jack Ranelli Big Band, and the west coast Glenn Miller. In L.A. she furthered her saxophone studies with alto sax great Jeff Clayton and played on occasion with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. She also began serious studies on the double bass with the legendary Eugene J Wright (the Senator). They later toured the east coast of Australia together. In smaller groups she played at jazz festivals along the west coast and in Los Angeles she also recorded with many diverse artists from jazz to rock, blues, gospel and also tv/film soundtracks.
Both in Australia and the US Anita has been involved in music education. Aside from giving private lessons, each summer she teaches at 3 jazz camps in California.
Living now in Maryland Anita plays saxophone with the Brooks Tegler Big Band and performs regularly with her own jazz quartet on bass.