KAMARA THOMAS is a singer, songspeller, mythology fanatic, and multi-disciplinary storyteller based in Durham, NC. In 2021 she will release a new album: “Tularosa: An American Dreamtime”, a song-cycle exploring the current American zeitgeist through the lens of the mythic West.
Currently, Kamara is also spearheading “Country Soul Songbook,” a music performance and documentary project that spotlights under-represented voices in Country and Americana music. The project explores and demonstrates how these genres share roots and history within a diverse and multi-ethnic American identity.
Kamara honed her craft for over a decade in New York, fronting numerous bands and touring internationally with hard rock trio Earl Greyhound. She also founded Honky-Tonk Happy Hour, a weekly country revue series at the Living Room on the Lower East Side that became a seminal cult favorite of the NYC alt-country scene. Her band Kamara Thomas & The Ghost Gamblers coagulated from the cooling embers of HTHH, releasing their EP “Earth Hero” in 2013.
As a multi-disciplinary storyteller, Kamara has created works for public spaces, film, and stage. She made her directorial debut in 2016 with “Oh Gallows”, a film that incorporated dance, theatre, and photography. She also wrote, directed, and produced the group work SOAPBOX, a series of traveling public space performances commissioned for Downtown Durham Inc.’s Public Space Grant. She used material from these performances to create the video “Good Luck America”, which was featured at the 2019 Hayti Heritage Film Festival. .
Kamara has been a featured artist for Lincoln Center Education’s repertory season and a resident at Yaddo artist colony. She was named one of the “14 Artists Proving Black Americana is Real” by Paste Magazine. She has been commissioned for work by Cassilhaus and Duke University, and has been a guest speaker at Duke, Princeton, NC State and Indiana Universities.