Johnbern Thomas

OneBeat 2012 Fellow

Drummer

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Hailing from Port-au-Prince, Johnbern Thomas’ repertoire maps the vibrant percussion styles of the Caribbean. From jazz, to swing, reggae, pop, blues, to traditional Haitian kompa and rara, his suped-up drum kit reveals the region’s dynamic cultural mélange. Beneath his peppery, devil-may-care percussion is the sage technique of one of his country’s most accomplished drummers. The son of a renowned jazz drummer, Johnbern grew up immersed in the rhythms of Haiti’s thriving music scene. Since the age of eight, when he made his musical debut alongside his father before a crowd of 8,000, Johnbern has logged an enormous list of collaborators, including renowned American pianist, Aaron Goldberg, and Claude Carre. In addition to leading his eponymous group, the Johnbern Quintet, the drummer has performed with the likes of Ragou Mizik, Jaleb Haitians Jazz, Jahnesta, Vibration de Petition-Ville, the MRM Group, Zekle, and the Orchestra of Pastor Edris.