Thaddeus Tukes: ASM Alum and Vibraphonist Shaping Chicago’s Jazz Future

Chicago is home to some of the world’s finest musical talents. One such gem is Thaddeus Tukes, a renowned vibraphonist whose journey from an After School Matters teen to an influential figure in Chicago’s jazz scene is nothing short of inspiring. 

Thaddeus’ love affair with music began as a child, starting with piano lessons at the age of five. His passion for jazz grew as a teen, as he started playing the vibraphone and joined ASM’s Jazz Big Band program. Through the program, he honed his skills, learning from his ASM instructor, Roger Harris, who taught jazz for 25 years before retiring.  

Thaddeus’ journey with ASM came full circle when he returned to the Jazz Big Band program, not as a student but as an instructor. His invaluable experience and expertise allowed him to mentor and inspire the next generation of budding jazz musicians. When Thaddeus isn’t instructing young people, he’s touring the world with his jazz band, sharing his love of music. 

Thaddeus recently returned to college to pursue his master’s degree in music therapy at Illinois State University. His passion for using music as a healing tool underscores his commitment to making a positive impact on the world. 

Thaddeus’ journey from an ASM teen to an ASM instructor, vibraphonist, educator, and advocate for music therapy is a testament to the transformative power of music. His story serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians and demonstrates the importance of ASM programs in nurturing young talent. 

Check out this CBS2 Chicago piece to hear more about Thaddeus’ life and career!