About Thaddeus


"Tukes brings poetry to the vibraphone.” -Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune 

Among many distinctions, Tukes is a Luminarts fellow and recipient of the Vivian G. Harsh Emerging Artist Award. He has been featured at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and more. When he's not performing, Tukes is an educator, giving master classes and workshops to students from pre-Kindergarten through undergraduate.

During his junior year at Whitney Young High School, Thaddeus was considered the top high school vibraphonist in the state by the Illinois Music Educators Association. As a senior, Thaddeus was featured at Carnegie Hall with his high school concert band.

Thaddeus pioneered a jazz vibraphone degree program while also studying jazz piano at Northwestern University, where he attended the Bienen School of Music and Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. In journalism, Thaddeus was elected President of the National Association of Black Journalists-Northwestern University Chapter, and lead the organization to win National Student Chapter of the Year for the second time in the chapter’s history.

Thaddeus also served on the executive board of the Associated Student Government. As Vice President of Diversity (now Accessibility) and Inclusion, Tukes collaborated with students, faculty, staff, and administration across campus in developing strategic plans to improve the student experience. Tukes also served on the Coalition of Colors, Northwestern’s multicultural community organizing board.

Thaddeus currently resides in Chicago.