Cara Thomas is a multi-woodwind performer and educator. She obtained degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin (Bachelor’s of Music Education, 2009) and the University of Kentucky (Master’s of Music Performance, 2011) and studied with Miles Osland, Branford Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Pat LaBarbera, and James Moody. Since her international debut with Joe Lovano at the North Sea Jazz Festival, she has performed widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia including a notable performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Most recently, Cara has performed on the International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM) festival in Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland (July 2015). She is a current member of MTNA, KMTA, and BAMTA.
Cara specialized in saxophone throughout her schooling and continues to hold her beloved King Zephyr tenor, Selmer Series III alto, and Yanagisawa curved soprano saxophones exalted and rarefied, but for all that she developed a voice on the piano, clarinets, and flute as well. As a prominent educator, Cara has introduced music to hundreds of young beginners in central Kentucky, teaching primarily in the Fayette, Scott, and Franklin County Districts. Founder and leader of the Young Creative Musicians Ensemble, Cara’s experience has consummated in an inclusive approach to teaching that fosters personal identity through improvisation.
As a budding yogini, Cara completed her 200 hour teacher training with Matthew Higdon of Subtle Power Yoga (January 2016). Her unique approach is established in a grounded home practice that includes daily meditation and mantra recitation, breath work (pranayama), conditioning, and a vinyasa style asana that incorporates static and dynamic expression while venturing through the five elements. Cara has found great freedom in yoga and desires to share that with everyone she meets.