We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Helton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I didn’t “pursue” it initially. When I got out of high school I wasn’t sure what I was going to do the only thing that I have done at that point was play trombone in the school band. I played a little bit of bass guitar and I guess I, like many, wanted to be a rockstar. But when I apply to college I discovered jazz and it just sort of lured me in. I have always loved music but when I discovered jazz it’s sort of open the door up to more creative possibilities than I had previously realized. So with guidance from really great teachers in Houston I discovered that I could make a living playing music. And specifically music I consider very creative and almost infinite in it’s possibilities.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Please tell us more about your art. Huh….. I’m gonna say evolving. I’m not sure that these things set me apart but I think it’s my openness to all genres of music. I am trying to think of a style of music that I don’t like and I’m coming up empty. I get something from everything and I think that influences my music in my creative process. I think I’m most proud of the people that I get to work with. As I said Houston is a secret little spot where some of the best musicians live. In addition to that these musicians are my friends and I get the privilege of working and creating with them. I guess I got here by staying persistent. Always trying to get better, always trying to produce more work, always trying to connect with people and always try to push my own boundaries. It’s not easy but it’s fun. There are so many lessons that I’ve learned that is hard to pick any but I’d like to say being honest with yourself and your work will get you where you want to go. I’m just trying to share myself the only way I know and I hope it makes people feel something. Anything.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When we could hang out……. in no specific order. The Breakfast Klub-restaurant Uchi – restaurant El Tiempo – restaurant Chapultepec- restaurant MFAH – museum Contemporary Museum- museum The Menil – museum Rothko Chapel – museum The Flat – bar Sound Exchange -record store Cezanne – jazz club BFE – rock club The P.E.T Outdoor Theater – art space Avante Garden – space where things happen
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, Larry Slezak, Shelly Berg, Eric Late, Mike Lefevbre, Tom Cummings, Mike Nase, Dr. Richard “Dick” Rozelle, Clayton Dyess. These guys went out of their way to encourage me and guide me. All the musicians in Houston, Tx. Although Houston may not be considered a music town, we have some of the best and I’m proud to be one of them.
Youtube: Thomas Helton
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