In The News

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

"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"

Halloween crowds in Hyde Park reach pre-pandemic levels, but no arrests for third year in a row

" It’s the third consecutive Halloween without arrests, largely attributed to the efforts of Collabooration, Tukes’ ensemble and the interrupters."

Vibraphone Virtuoso Thaddeus Tukes Views Music As A Form of Healing

“I have to center myself before I play,” he says. “I close my eyes and meditate or zone out to a song. If I’m about to go onstage, I always say a little prayer, take some deep breaths and remind myself to breathe and relax. Playing vibraphone is very meditative and restorative for me. It has always been my diary and my outlet — my way of processing what’s happening in my world.”


Thaddeus Tukes Brings All The Vibes To Ravinia

"'Thank you all for everything that you are doing, thank you for coming into the classrooms because hopefully, thanks to you, there will be another one of me that feels like they're living their dreams as a professional musician. And, I want to say, this has been a heck of a life—I’m only 27, and I still have a long way to go, but I’m grateful,' Tukes closed his speech to the room full of teachers at the keynote."


Let's Vibe with Thaddeus Tukes!

“My personality and the vibraphone are the same, the instrument reflects my personality. It has so many nuance textures and overtones in all it can create."


Northwestern Intersections EP. 21: Thaddeus Tukes

Thaddeus Tukes ’16 came to Northwestern knowing that there wasn’t a program for what he wanted to do but he had the faith he could work with Northwestern to create one. Although it wasn’t always easy, Tukes worked with leaders at the Bienen School of Music to create a major that worked for him, just as he is now working with community leaders in Chicago to create a lifestyle that works for him. He has accomplished a lot in his two year career path, like performing the vibraphone and being showcased at Carnegie Hall and the Symphony Center in Chicago, among many other jazz festivals, but he is most proud of his work teaching young people to enjoy and love art. You won’t want to miss this conversation around transforming your perspective from finding a career path to creating a lifestyle.


Jazz review: Chicagoan Thaddeus Tukes celebrates ‘Let’s Vibe’ at Green Mill

by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune

"For the very sound of the vibraphone, with its ringing tones and overtones, beguiles and delights the ear, particularly when played as fluidly as Tukes. Add to this his fleet technique on marimba, and you had a riot of sound produced by fast-flying mallets. That Tukes was fronting a sextet on the Green Mill’s compact stage added to the sonic and visual impact of the event.

"Yet even with all that personnel, instrumentation and sound production, there was an elegance to the music-making that listeners have come to expect from Tukes. Wearing a black tux, bright white shirt and traditional bow tie loosened around his neck, Tukes balanced the distinct tintinnabulation of his instruments with succinct, well-tailored statements from his colleagues."

Thaddeus Tukes brings poetry to the vibraphone

by Howard Reich Chicago Tribune

"For Tukes is not a vibraphonist who produces flurries of notes for their own sake. Each carefully chosen pitch has a purpose in the grand scheme of Tukes’ statements, an uncommon virtue for a young musician on the way up."

Thaddeus Tukes: Good Vibes

"Tukes, who grew up in the North Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, joined the Associated Student Government as vice president of diversity and inclusion during his sophomore year and later became a spokesperson for We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern. That experience opened up incredible opportunities — like a behind-the-scenes tour of the White House on his 21st birthday — and exposed the inner workings of the University, for better or worse."

Meet Musician and Journalist, Thaddeus Tukes!

by Grace Choi for Her Campus

"I will say that I always listen to the instrumental before the lyrics of a song. The lyrics tell me what to think, whereas the instrumental lets me interpret the intention for myself. Drawing on research and fieldwork as a musician, I try to find the composer/producer’s musical/historic reference points for creating the song and see if their intent matches the lyrics that have been juxtaposed on the instrumental. It allows me to analyze the music in a different way, so if I were to do a cover or arrangement, I would be well equipped to do it justice."

We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern - Thaddeus Tukes

"Thaddeus Tukes ’16 describes what a Northwestern scholarship means to him as a first-generation college student from Chicago, and why he’s committed to paying it forward."


New ASG diversity head Thaddeus Tukes seeks a more inclusive Northwestern

by Sophia Bollag for The Daily Northwestern

“Jazz to me is the most expressive type of music,” he said. “It allows you to compose instantaneously as like your base idea, but then you get to take that and rewrite the story.”