Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, John received his first drumset when he was five years old. Soon after, he played his first performance – Greek music with his Godfather on bouzouki in the social hall at their church. With a growing passion for music, he began playing in bands and honing his skills which led him to study at the Baltimore School for the Arts, as a Percussion/Music major. He graduated with a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts. – And went on to study at the Musician’s Institute, Percussion Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California, where he graduated with honors and was granted the ‘Best Funk Drummer Award’.

Back East from California, Thomakos quickly became a sought-after sideman in a variety of musical settings. In his words, “All of the various, gigs, recordings, groups and artists with which I have been involved and continue to be involved with, have all been an invaluable experience and education to me."

Today, his Discography of Recordings with an eclectic range of artists and groups is, to some degree, a testament of his merit and most certainly a reflection of his versatility. John has also played on recordings used for The Discovery Channel, HBO Pictures and the television shows: The Young and the Restless, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Regis and Kelley Show, Brooklyn South, That’s Life, Homicide, Cougar Town and so on.

Over the span of his career, John has been employed by a variety of extraordinary artists and groups, which include pop superstar and three-time Grammy Nominee, Vanessa Carlton, and world renowned entertainment giant, Cirque du Soleil. - From 2009 to 2012, John toured with Cirque du Soleil’s show, KOOZA. - Performing nearly 900 shows across North America and Canada, in a high-energy production which featured some of the world’s top performers and spotlighted John in a high energy drum solo. He has also performed live on The Regis and Kelly Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Aside from performing, he has also realized the opportunity and enjoyment of sharing his passion for music through education. As a student of the instrument and music himself, he has also become a sought after teacher and educator. His articles have been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine as well as on He has also written two critically acclaimed drumset method books:

Drum Back-Beats Encyclopedia, published and distributed by Alfred Publications

Encyclopedia of Drumset Styles published and distributed by Mel Bay Publications.