Dr. Samuel R. Thomas

Director of Institutional Programming & Curriculum

The world of music includes the crafting of sound and context. At BMS, we have an amazing opportunity to share in passing on traditions of music, with a passion for cultivating the manifest benefits that music education provides. To be part of this team, in the heart of New York’s most exciting borough, is a blessing.


Samuel is an ethnomusicologist and performer who has been forging an artist/scholar model for over fifteen years.

In his capacity as Director of Institutional Programming at the Brooklyn Music School, he works with the best and brightest of our faculty artists in the BMS Outreach division and other community-wide programming to build musical bridges throughout the borough of Brooklyn and beyond. In his capacity as Director of Curriculum, he works directly with department chairs and faculty members to set curricular and pedagogical goals for the institution.

In addition to his work with Brooklyn Music School, Dr. Thomas is an adjunct assistant professor at several campuses of the City University of New York, in music, interdisciplinary studies, Classical and Oriental studies, and cultural studies, on topics including Muslim-Jewish relations in music, philosophy, and poetics, American popular music, and diaspora studies. He teaches at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, John Jay College, and Montclair State University. His ethnomusicological scholarship centers on musics of the Middle East and North Africa, Jewish musics, jazz traditions, and diaspora studies.

Dr. Thomas is a multi-instrumentalist – saxophone, clarinet, oud, nay flute, piano, frame drums, vocals – and the artistic director of both the New York Andalus Ensemble and the critically-acclaimed North African Jazz ensemble ASEFA. In applied music, Dr. Thomas teaches instrumental lessons, ensembles, composition, and arranging.