Oaklandish Unchained: Lakeside Session With Thomas Pridgen

When you watch Thomas play, you’ll abandon any doubt he was born to do this. Catch him crushing it on the big stage or here on Lakeshore Ave.

Thomas Pridgen started drumming when he was three years old. By age nine he won the Guitar Center Drum-Off, and a year later he was the youngest recipient of a Zildjian endorsement in the company’s 400-year history. 

When he was fifteen he was the youngest musician to ever receive a 4-year scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Throughout his teenage years, he did studio sessions with Bay Area Gospel artists and was voted the “Best Up and Coming Drummer” by Modern Drummer Magazine.

Thomas is most well-known for playing with The Mars Volta band between 2006 and 2009. He played on their albums and traveled internationally with the band, including a tour with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Thomas has also performed with Christian Scott, Wicked Wisdom, and worked as a live session drummer for singer Keyshia Cole.


Oakland is the land of innovators, mavericks, and rebels. A hotbed for social movements and culture that has transformed the world. Oaklandish Unchained video series continues this proud tradition by celebrating the people of The Town.

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