Larry Reni Thomas, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, is a writer/radio announcer/lecturer based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who has worked at seven radio stations and whose journalistic work has appeared in downbeat magazine and The New York Times Magazine. He is the author of The True Story Behind The Wilmington Ten (KHA Books, 1993)) and Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!: A Fictional Account of The Wilmington Ten Incident of February 1971(KHA Books, 2006). Thomas also wrote “The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan,” an article that included an exclusive interview with North Carolina native, Helen Morgan, who killed the 33-year-old jazz trumpet legend in 1972. Later, Larry published a book called The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan (KHA Books, 2014).
Thomas’s lecture, The Carolina Jazz Connection with Larry Thomas, has been presented at schools, colleges, universities, libraries and public places since 2008. He was named Jazz Hero in 2014 by The Jazz Journalists Association; received the Fifth Annual Donald Meade Legacy Jazz Griot Award at The Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in 2016, and has been a downbeat magazine jazz critic since 2012. Larry is presently writing a book titled: Carolina Shout: That Wonderful, Soulful Blessing: The Carolina Jazz Connection! He is featured in the documentary films: Wilmington On Fire and I Called Him Morgan. He received a MA in History from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and has done further study at UNC-CH's Journalism graduate school. Thomas is also the host of “Sunday Night Jazz” on WCOM-FM, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina.