Johnbern THOMAS was born on August 1st, 1986 in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune situated north of the capital of Haiti, a corner of the county where music is constantly in the lives of the residents. At a very young age, his father also a drummer gave him his first drumming lessons.
Born, in a family of evangelicals, Johnbern would have his first drumming experiences at age 12, playing with his father’s band . In school, he always got reprimanded because he wouldn’t stop beating drums on the benches and chairs. Johnbern, also plays other percussion instruments, but drums will always be his instrument of choice. After meeting several musicians well known in Haitian music scene his life changed and permitted him to veer towards other types of music, most notably Jazz. Other musicians such as Claude CARRE, Aaron GOLDBERG, Joel and Mushy WIDMAIER, Pierre BONCY, Mark Richard MIRAND gave him his love for Jazz.
Like many Haitians, after the January 12th, 2010 earthquake Johnbern was left with destruction and desolation. He left for the Dominican Republic where he continued to develop his talents especially in Jazz. He played with some renowned Dominican artist who recognized his talent. During his stay in the neighboring country, he cultivated relationships with artists such as: Miguel Andres TEJEDA, Fella VEGA, Rafael MIRABAL, and Sandy GABRIEL. One of these collaborations led to a turn in his career were he participated as a special guest with the Rafael Miral (Symtema Temporado) group, next to Richard Bona in October 2011. Since, he has formed the John Bern Quartet with Patrice PIERSAINT, Jonathan PINA and Reynold SANON. Their objective was to form a fusion with Haitian and Dominican music. Unfortunately, this collaboration didn’t last.
Upon returning to Haiti in January 2012, he founded the Johnbern Quintet this time with Herman DUVERNE, Marc-Harold PIERRE, Ferdinand JEAN BAPTISTE and Josué ALEXIS. Their first appearance was at the International Jazz Day on April 30, 2012. This presented a new generation of young talented Jazz artists. Also, this performance led to other events in the provinces of Haiti as well as, in the neighboring Santo Domingo Jazz Festival in July 2012 and the International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince (PAP Jazz) reinforced the determination of this young group of artists towards their goal.
John Bern represented Haiti in the USA in September 2012 in the cultural exchange program One Beat, a United of States State Department program. This activity permitted him to cross paths with several talented American musicians like Dafnis PIERTO, Dave DOUGLAS, Gregg AUGUSTE, Mark STEWART to name a few.
This successful cultural exchange permitted Johnbern to position his new trio, composed of two talented musicians, very active in the Haitian music world in Jazz, Junior DORCELUS (Guitar) and Hermand DUVERNE (Bass). This trio has confirmed with its numerous performances throughout the capital in clubs and restaurants that it is a premier in Jazz music.
It should be noted that in all the different participations of Johnbern in numerous cultural and artistic endeavours, notably Jazz Festivals in Martinique, USA, Vietnam, Surinam, Europe, Dominican Republic and Haiti. He has always been well received and has created a large following in these different countries.
As part of his musical career, Johnbern has also produced Jazz soirees. He is working on giving a voice to the youth and to promote Jazz in all its compositions and dimensions. He is a founder of the platform with Ralph Stephane MOMPEROUSSE, coordinator of this structure. They have already held several events and have received much press in the newspapers and social media.
Presently, John Bern just recorded his first album Johnbern THOMAS Trio. He collaborates with several big name local and international artists. This has already created a buzz on different media including social media. With this in mind, the artist continued to multiply his representations in Haiti and abroad with the intent of staying on the Jazz musical scene for the happiness of his fans.