After several years on the road with various artists, Thomas moved back to his hometown of Houston. He is currently bassist with some of Houston's finest jazz artists including Carol Morgan, Larry Slezak, Joe LoCascio, Gary Norian and Mike Nase. He is a top call bassist in the Houston traditional jazz community, but his interests extend into the realm of the avant/garde.
Currently, Thomas is performing regularly in the Houston/Austin/Dallas area as in a solo setting. His first CD, "Doublebass" is a compilation of a six-month solo engagement at Cafe Artiste in Houston, and was released in April of 2003. It has received airplay and positive reviews in the press in both in the U.S. and Europe.
He is also a contributing member to the modern/avant-garde group The Rosta Jazz Avengers which also includes John Edward Ross, Seth Paynter and Richard Cholakian. Additionally, he has performed recently with pianist Robert Boston, the Pauline Oliveros Ensemble, Cyberglass and Column "F." Additionally, he is an active member of the Baytown Symphony, the Pasadena Philharmonic and the Woodland Symphony..
Thomas' influences range from traditional greats such as Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Paul Chambers and Miles Davis to more modern/experimental giants such as Peter Kowald, Evan Parker, William Parker, Matthew Shipp and John Zorn. He has studied with Shelly Berg, Eric Late and Bruce Dudley at SJCC and Dennis Whitaker at the Moores School of Music. He has performed with such jazz greats as, Tim Hagens, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, Tony Malaby, Mark Elf and Ernie Watts. Although "traditional jazz" is a major part of his career, he feels drawn to the possibilities of "free" or "experimental" playing.
Thomas Helton is a musician committed to constant evolution and growth, based on a strong knowledge of those that have preceded him.