Thaddeus Ford- Arts District Showcase Series

August 9 | 2019

Join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center for free lunchtime entertainment at the new Arts District Showcase at the Meyerson. On select Fridays, members of the DSO as well as performers from around the Dallas Arts District and the Dallas arts community will liven up the afternoon with music, dance and theater.

Bring your own food or purchase sandwiches and snacks in the Meyerson lobby.  

Performances will begin at 12 Noon.  Don’t forget a business card to participate in a drawing for prizes and tickets at each event!


Thaddeus "Fabulous" Ford, II was born into a family of Jazz musicians in New Orleans. Thaddeus began playing the trumpet at age 8 under the demanding instruction of his father, Thaddeus Ford, Sr., a professional trumpeter with the U.S Marine Corp Band for 15 years. The instrument was not taken very seriously by young Thaddeus until age 14. It was then that he met trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis at a workshop at his high school, St. Augustine. Thaddeus immediately went to his father, who was in attendance and said, "...that's what I want to do!" His father suggested that he get in contact with his grandfather, saxophone legend Clarence Ford, Sr., who played with Fats Domino throughout the 50's and 60's. Unfortunately, Thaddeus didn't take heed to his father's suggestion for another year and a half. It was the summer of 1994 that he decided to audition for The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a performance arts high school whose alumni include the Marsalis brothers, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard and many others. As a student, he was exposed to some of the most talented young musicians the city had to offer. He studied with New Orleans premier trumpeter and educator Clyde Kerr, Jr. and Ronald Benko of the La. Philharmonic Orchestra. It was at a NOCCA master class that he also met mentor and friend trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis.

In 2001, he formed his first group, The Continuum. He adapted the name as way to pay homage to his father who passed away in 1999 and also had a band by that name. For the next three years The Continuum grew from virtually unknown to one of the most sought after club and private function draws in the city of New Orleans. It was during this period that he had the pleasure of joining his mentor Delfeayo Marsalis' band.

In 2004, Thaddeus relocated to Dallas, TX. Since then he has taken the Jazz community by storm performing with the likes of Shelly Carrol, Freddie Jones, Red Young, LeMark Gulley, Yashi Vaughn, Future Soul Soundclash, Noni Dressler, Arthur Riddles, Hash Brown, Marchel Ivery, Victor Cager, Miss Marcy, Lynn Ross, Dave Burris and many more. He can regularly be found lending his joyful New Orleans sound to unsuspecting bands and patrons at various clubs around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Thaddeus is currently based in the Dallas area and maintains an international itinerary, the most recent being a three month residency at the House of Blues and Jazz in Shanghai, China. In 2013, on the eve of a "world premier" concert in Dallas, Thaddeus suffered a heart attack at age 35. For health concerns, a year was taken off from performing (and playing the trumpet in general). In October 2014, a comeback was launched, along with an Indigogo campaign to raise funds for his debut EP "The Secret Place". Thaddeus resumed his local itinerary, fully recovered. In 2016, Mr. Ford traveled the country with GRAMMY winning Gospel star Kirk Franklin (with musical director Shaun Martin of Snarky Puppy) for Franklin's "Twenty Years In One Night" tour. Currently, Thaddeus is composing new music, developing a youth summer Jazz workshop, a jazz curriculum for elementary schools, a 501-3(c) organization as well as collaborating with an array of local talent on recording and performing projects.


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