“Congratulations! You passed the audition.”
Several months later, in March 1991, Thomas Kovacs flew from Toronto to the island country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf to perform for U.S. troops during Desert Storm.
Kovacs interrupted his jazz vocal studies at Humber College to be the lead singer for the newly formed rock/dance band Sister Moon. The band would play in the large two-hundred person bar of the Cunard Princess every night for the next five months ... close to 150 performances.
The Cunard Princess was a 900-passenger luxury ship on which U.S. soldiers would spend three days of rest and recreation away from the desert. Soldiers were not allowed to drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia, so understandably the ship's bar was their most popular destination. Performing for troops every night for five months was a tremendous influence in developing Kovacs as an entertainer.
In 1996, Kovacs began a five year stint as the weekly house performer of a restaurant in the trendy Bloor West Village area of Toronto. He built upon the skills he learned on stage in the Persian Gulf by singing for audiences who wanted to leave their workweek behind for an evening of fun.
In 2001, he was invited to be the musician aboard an Adventure Canada tour in the Arctic. (In 2015, National Geographic Traveler Magazine ranked Adventure Canada's Mighty St. Lawrence adventure as one of the top 50 Tours of a Lifetime.)
Since 2001, Kovacs has been the musician on board twenty-one Adventure Canada expeditions. He has traveled with guest passengers such as Margaret Atwood, Bill “Father Goose” Lishman, and Farley Mowat; cruises that took Kovacs and his singing talents to Iceland, Greenland, the Northwest Passage, many Inuit communities in Nunavut, as well as to Baja California and the Galapagos Islands. He is scheduled to return to the Arctic with Adventure Canada in the summer of 2018.
In January 2010, Kovacs left his job as a computer programmer/analyst at Canadian Tire home office to pursue full-time his passion for music. In July of that same year, he graduated from the online Berklee College of Music with a Songwriting Specialist Certificate.
In December 2013, Kovacs moved from his six-year home in the Caledon area back to downtown Toronto where he now lives with the lady of his life, Cara; when he’s not living in his car driving to and from shows in Barrie, Orangeville, Sauble Beach, Mississauga and Prince Edward County!
Kovacs's heavy singing schedule eventually took a toll on his vocal cords. On June 1st, 2016, he underwent vocal cord surgery to remove two polyps. The decision to have surgery was not an easy one … understandably he feared losing his voice and with that, the joy of singing. But he was extremely lucky in having one of the top otolaryngologists in Canada perform the operation. The polyps were successfully removed with no complications. For the several months following surgery, regaining his voice was a very slow process. Kovacs's love for singing motivated him to do what was necessary to get his voice back and to learn proper vocal technique so as to avoid injuring his cords again. Today, his voice is stronger than it has ever been!