Joshua A. Thompson & Jared M. Thompson


Joshua and Jared Thompson have deep roots in performing arts, cultivated by their parents and their education in Washington Township Schools. These full-time musicians create musical experiences for all ages to enjoy, not only locally, but around the country. In honor of Juneteenth, the Thompson twins have an upcoming broadcast production airing on WFYI.  Read on to learn more!


What are you up to now?

The Thompson Twins are full-time professional musicians who also curate and produce music education programs for all ages, demographics, etc. to keep the rich history of the performing arts viable, sustainable, and approachable in all communities. Over the past 20 years, they have performed and lectured across the country, stressing the importance of accessibility and inclusion within the performing arts world.

On June 13th at 9 p.m. EST, WFYI will broadcast Joshua Thompson’s production of “Black Keys: The Evolution of the Black Classical Arts.” This brilliant and unique performance (partially underwritten by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts) features masterworks by composers of African descent over the past 300+ years. This production is performed by Joshua Thompson, The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Kenyetta Dance Company, Psyryn Simone, Okara Imani and Jared Thompson.

Can you tell us more about your careers in music?

After graduating from North Central, Jared earned his Music Performance degree, and Joshua earned a degree in Sociology/Anthropology, combining his love for music and human behavior.

In addition to the production of “Black Keys,” highlights of Joshua’s career include:

  • In 2020, Joshua was a presenter for the prestigious TEDTalk series where he explored the contributions of classical music composers of African descent.
  • That same year, Joshua was awarded the Beckman Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and used the opportunity to further his message of including musicians of African descent into the canon of classical music.
  • Most recently, Joshua has completed an artistic residency in Seaside FL, University of Nebraska Omaha, as well as residencies with local music organizations such as The Indianapolis Opera Company, The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra.

While Jared has performed extensively outside of the Indianapolis area since 2008 (including a performance at SXSW in 2018), he has focused much of his time and efforts in Indianapolis because, “Indy is a market that is historically overlooked and underserved.” Highlights of Jared’s career include:

  • In 2007, he started his contemporary jazz quintet Premium Blend, which has become a fixture in the Indy music scene performing at The Chatterbox Jazz Club, The Jazz Kitchen, The Cabaret, The Center for the Performing Art at The Palladium, and Parlor Public House.
  • The pandemic of 2020 put a halt to many live performances, but Thompson and Premium Blend created a documentary called “38” and “Postmodernism” that gave an intimate and honest look into the perspectives of artists of color on the social unrest in tandem with the Covid-19 lockdowns. The film was featured in the Indy Shorts category of the Heartland Film Festival in 2021 and the soundtrack was released under a self-published label in 2022.
  • In 2022, Jared was a cultural content contributor to WISH-TV, as well as a temporary co-host for the mid-morning show Life Style Live.
  • In the same year, Jared was the only Hoosier to be awarded the prestigious MAPFUND grant based out of New York City. The grant culminated in a partnership with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis that featured Premium Blend and digital designers/animators Ronald Craig Jr. and Boogie Bang’s celestial performance entitled “Space Jams” in the museum’s planetarium.
  • Jared has also been awarded the Creative Renewal Grant from The Arts Council of Indianapolis, The Artist at Work Grant from The Herbert Simon Foundation, and was commissioned to compose and perform the music for the exhibit “Promised Land as Proving Ground” which opens later this summer at Conner Prairie.

Most recently both Thompsons performed again at The Center for the Performing Arts as Jared debuted his latest three-movement suite “Classical Scratch” for saxophone, piano, and DJ that highlighted the contributions of Black composers and performers in classical music, jazz music, and hip hop.

How did North Central impact and shape who you are today?

Joshua and Jared Thompson were always active in the performing arts while attending North Central High School. The attention to detail and discipline within the performing arts department made a lasting impression on both Thompson brothers. The attention to detail and discipline within the performing arts department made a lasting impression on both Thompson brothers. Both received awards for their musicianship with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble as well as the top Jazz Band during their time at NCHS. Both continued their music education while attending DePauw University (Joshua) and Denison University (Jared). 

WHAT IS your favorite memory from North Central?

We studied abroad our Junior year. Joshua spent a week in Spain and Jared spent a week in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). The opportunity to be immersed in another culture overseas was too exciting to pass up. The experience helped shape our perspective of our place in the world, and also reinforced that despite language barriers, music is a universal language.

Connect & Learn more

To connect with Joshua or Jared, and to learn more about their music, check out the links below.

“Twins Joshua & Jared Thompson Discuss ‘Black Keys'” – ICO on YouTube

Premium Blend – Jazz quartet featuring Jared Thompson

Premium Blend’s Instagram

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

Joshua’s Instagram


Looking for ways you can support North Central High School and Washington Township Schools? Donate today and help our foundation support programs to enhance the educational experience for our students and provide resources for MSDWT teachers and staff. 

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