Texas Brass Band Members

* - Denotes original band member since 2008

William G. Thomas II *

My biggest musical influence is the five-time Grammy nominated national recording artist, the brains behind the internationally recognized Summer Jazz Workshop and founder of the Houston International Jazz festival, and my father, Mr. Bubbha Thomas. Growing up in Houston Texas as the son of a jazz musician, I had the experience of rubbing shoulders and getting to know heavy-weights and legendary figures in music. I would go to gigs and practices and listen to such jazz greats as Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson, live and candid. I heard and watched masters like Conrad O. Johnson (Thunder Soul the Movie), Samuel Jackson, and Craig Green arrange and conduct large and small ensembles. I was also exposed to my father's band (Bubbha Thomas and the Lightmen), in which were some of the best Musicians on the planet. I remember watching such greats as Virgil Solomon, Kenny Abair, Ronnie Laws, Pat Williams, Ed Rose, Doug Harris, Don Paterson, Kirk Whalum, and noticing their seriousness and the way they approached practices and gigs. Later, I became interested in playing trombone after seeing a young Frank Lacy in the Summer Jazz workshop. So in 7th grade, I began to study trombone. I have had some of the finest instructors on the planet. Ronald B. Thornton, Al Jones, Nathaniel Brickens, Paul Adams, Kevin Ward, Craig Marshall, and Ed Lowe. While in college, I studied the arranging styles of Mr. Dowell Taylor (JSU), Mr. Paul I. Adams (JSU), Samuel Jackson (TXSU), and Mr.George Edwards (PV A&M). My goal in forming the Texas Brass Band was to bring back true entertainment, as well as a high reguard for musicianship and professionalism. My vision for the Texas Brass Band as it's founder, visionary, and creator is to represent all of my musical inspirations. Also, become an international ambassador to the world by bringing a brassy original funk style of music from the great state of Texas. Kickin Brass & Takin Names. 

Don Vondariss Washington *

My personal influence to play trumpet actually came after listening to Tom Browne. It was a dream come true to play with him in 2008. Other musicians such as Al Hurt, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis were also influential.

Mistah J. Jones *

Music was pretty much a given for me since day one. My Mother played keyboard, and marched in the college band at Prairie View A&M University. My Dad played bass guitar. I can remember hearing my Dad playing his reel to reels, 45’s, and 8 track tapes. Playing artists such as Otis Redding, Aaron Nevels, B.B. King, and many others. As I got a bit older, I began to enjoy the live horns more and more. Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Michael Jackson, and many others that embraced the love of live horns. By hearing all of that, I was able to pick those horn riffs out and put them on paper. Once I learned how to really work with music and write it, that made me want to stick with it. I also grew up with an older brother that is a DJ/producer, and one that is a drummer (Marcellous Jones of the Texas Brass Band). Rapping, writing, screaming (trumpet), singing....it’s all the same. I keep it going like the blood flowing in my veins. So I must admit, music is definitely under my skin!!

Dwight O. Cawthon, Jr. *

My biggest and first musical influence came from my older brother Patrick, who also played trombone. It was quite natural for me to march around the house imitating my older brother. As I studied music at the elementary, middle and high school levels, it quickly became a part of me. I knew then music was going to be a vital part of who I am, for life. Once I began college, I started voice and ear training, and began playing piano. As I surround myself with other well-seasoned musicians, I began to gig with them. Through those experiences, I began to get sharper at my craft. I enjoy listening to saxophonist Doug Baskin, bass player Reginald Richards (high school classmate), and other vocalist and instrumentalist. I also enjoy listening to bands such as Cameo, Sun, The Bar-kays and Earth, Wind & Fire to name a few. So as God continues to bless me, hopefully HE can touch others through me.

Deante Deese *

I decided to pursue music after making the choice between music and football (believe it or not) in school. That choice was pretty easy after seeing my brother get his arm broken! That's why I chose the fun, safer choice! Music was definately the right choice for me. Initially, I wanted to play saxophone, but I couldn't get a sound out of it. I enjoy playing trumpet because it is a very expressive instrument. I listen to trumpet players such as Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, & Arturo Sandoval. I also look up to those awesome musicians as jazz players.

Christopher Rose

Music for me started with my grandmother. She pushed me to do Piano lessons in New York. After much fighting, I was hooked on music. I heard my first marching band in middle school, which fed the inner beast in me. That was my creative outlet. I currently listen to Kai Winding, JJ Johnson, Trombone Shorty, EWF, Cameo and a few others.

Marcellous A. Jones

My interest in becoming a professional drummer was sparked by the stylings of Andrew Isaac and Leslie Davis. Although these two individuals never pursued a professional career in performance, they will always be my personal favorites for two reasons. First, is because they were the first “drummers” I ever met or even knew of. Second, is because they allowed me my first opportunity to play. (Even if was for just the offering) Yep……. feet barely reaching the pedals and all. These were the humble beginnings indeed. I have met the acquaintances and have had the pleasure of hanging with great drummers in and away from the music setting. Sebastian Whitaker, Chris Dave, Ellis Johnson and Sam Dinkins III are just a few of the drummers I enjoy being around. One drummer that I truly admire is John Blackwell. I recall him discussing the importance of the “pocket”. He expounded on how stick tricks and fancy chops don’t mean much if you “pocket” is not on point. Having a defined “pocket” style, I dubbed myself as the “Pocket Pro-Tech Tah” and really enjoy practicing with his instructional videos. Although I know, hang out and still learn from many great drummers and percussionists, I will never forget sitting in church, on the front row, feet dangling, watching Andrew and Leslie doing their thing. Your names are worldwide now fellas. Thanks so much for the influence. I love you to life!!

C. Sean Torres

My main influences to start playing percussion/drums were my parents. My dad used to scat/beat-box different syncopated rhythms then I would imitate the sounds & rhythms. Then I began playing drums in church which widened my interest in percussion & music in general. This then led me to join. I continued studying music (specializing in percussion instruments) all the way through college. Some of my musical influences are; Henery Brun, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, Giovanni Hidalgo, Aaron Spears, Karl Perazzo, Raul Rekow, Mike Johnston, Dave Weckl, Amimal (from the Muppets), Carlos Santana, Erykah Badu, Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, & every other drummer/percussionist that I've had the pleasure of performing and/or studying with!!!!!