." Thomas owes an obvious debt to the great Bobby Hutcherson. With a clear tone, strong chops and good ideas he is also reminiscent of modern vibes masters Bryan Carrott and Joe Locke.A fine debut from a fellow Oregonian." -
- Rob Scheps, NYC Jazz icon, independent review of " Jackson" (May 15, 2013)
Born in 1967 in Oakland, Nebraska. He started his musical studies at the early age of five in piano and percussion. Mr. Mackay has mentored under Gordon Stout and Bill Molenhof. He studied jazz and classical percussion at The Birch Creek Music Academy, The University of North Dakota, and Casper College. He has performance experience in many genres, from sharing the stage as a mallet percussionist with jazz artists such as Clark Terry, David Valdez, and Rob Schepps, to the psychedelic genre of Martin Fierro (Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service), Terry Haggerty (Sons of Champlin), Merle Saunders (Jerry Garcia Band) as well as the world renowned 3 Leg Torso. As a keyboardist and organist Mr. Mackay has performed and recorded with reggae legend and Studio One artist Norma Fraser. He has experience playing many other music styles from big band to piano bar, and funk to singer songwriter. He currently resides in Southern Oregon.
Due to hand problems, Thomas took an 8 year break from touring and recording as a vibist. He subsequently was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in April of 2012. By June of 2012 he experienced a remarkable recovery being “gluten-free”and went on to form "The Mackay Project" an ensemble that features his original compositions and focuses on the modern side of jazz. The Mackay Project leans more toward groove oriented tunes (break-beat, hip hop, reggae as well as straight ahead jazz). In June of 2013 Mr. Mackay will be releasing his first CD of The Mackay Project "Jackson", under the Hammondbeat Records label. While recording Jackson, there were two weeks of studio down time which was used to record yet another session of jazz standards. “Here’s That Rainy Day” will be released under the Hammondbeat Records label in the fall of 2013. “The Thomas Mackay Quintet" features tenor sax player Bud Berlingeri, formerly of the Louie Prima band from 1952 to 1954. “Here’s That Rainy Day” is a departure from Mr. Mackay's four mallet style and concentrates on the two mallet style of vibraphone greats Milt Jackson and Coleman Hawkins.
In his most recent endeavor, Mr. Mackay saw a need to unify the great jazz talent in the Rogue Valley. He formed "The Rogue Valley Jazz Collective". The Medford Jazz Festival requested him to host a twice a month jazz session in Medford, Oregon. These sessions are public performances for the jazz collective, and will feature guest artists as well as a host of the Rogue Valley’s most talented players. “It’s an incredible blessing to have my career back as a vibist. I thought I was done. Living gluten-free has saved my life and now it’s time to give back.”
Check out his Press release section ....
David Greenberger/3 Leg Torso, ( whims, whispers and bloodloss), 2004 released under Duplex Plant publishing. ( Vibes, Xylophone, doumbek, sound effects, composer)
Norma Fraser, ( One More Chance) 2006 Gyfft records. ( keyboardist, programming)
Jubal, self title, 1999, cofounder, ( vibes, B3, rhoades)
Jupiter Hollow ( the veneta sessions) vibes b3 rhoades). 2001
Tryptic Trio,,, From the Pen and Beyond, 20001, ( never released)
Synrgy, self titled . 2011 ( keys and organ)
2000 Eugene Celebration … with Norma Fraser and Tryptic trio
1987, Winnapeg Jazz Festival .. Thomas Mackay Trio
2004 Holly wood bowl, Event… 3 Leg Torso
Folk life festival 2002- 2004 3 Leg Torso
Bumbershoot 2002- 2004 3 Leg Torso
Williammette Folk Festival … Norma fraser and 3 Leg Torso
Various other venues throughout the USA