Shelley Thomas

Shelley T.

Brooklyn, NY

Lesson Details



Shelley passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Shelley delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:

Shelley is a professional vocalist, voice coach, percussionist, and composer specializing in Eastern European and Arabic styles. She sings in numerous languages and has taught workshops, recorded, performed and toured nationally and internationally with notable world music artists including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, Simon Shaheen, Hassan Hakmoun, the New York Arabic Orchestra, Bulgarian Voices Trio, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and Black Sea Hotel. She has performed at prestigious venues and festivals such as the Moscow Conservatory, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pioneer Works, National Sawdust, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Vancouver Island Music Festival, and Abu Dhabi Festival at Emirates Palace.

Current highlights include feature on Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble’s 2017 GRAMMY-Winning album, Sing Me Home, with vocal trio Black Sea Hotel (Best World Music Album) and Yale Repertory Theater’s 2017 Workshop, Skin For Skin. Recent performances include Havana World Music Festival, MusikFest Pennsylvania, NY Sephardic Music Festival, Rural Route Film Festival at Brooklyn Grange, Le Poisson Rouge, Prototype Festival’s Secondary Dominance at HERE Arts Center, the Arabic Music Retreat Fundraiser Gala at Harvard Club NYC, Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, Toronto’s Small World Music Center, and Fete de la Musique, Beirut with West African percussion ensemble Jebebara. Shelley released her solo debut a cappella album of Bulgarian songs, titled Joy, in Spring 2016. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, she has worked as Executive Director with the One World Brooklyn Kids Chorus, and attended Artist Residencies at Canada’s BANFF Centre (Persian & Eastern Traditions Program) and Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Vermont. She has also been a recipient of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Traditional Arts Development Grant.

Shelley is currently composing globally-inspired works for her next album, to be released with an accompanying book of her travel photography and poetry. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

“As exhilarating to listen to as it is a towering display of vocal prowess. Shelley has such vast range, formidable technique and minutely nuanced command of microtones that she can do it all. The result is rapture that sometime borders on terror...One of the half-dozen best albums of 2016.” -New York Music Daily

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BFA World Music Performance
Aug 2004 - Jun 2008
California Institute of the Arts

Photos & Videos

"Zhenish Me Mamo" Official Music Video by Black Sea Hotel
Directed by Josephine Decker
Photo by Shelley T.

Photo by Shelley T.

Photo by Shelley T.

Photo by Shelley T.

Photo by Shelley T.


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