“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.
Tom 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 nine-hundred-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 Tom’s development as an entertainer.
In 1996, Tom 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, Tom was invited to be the musician aboard an Adventure Canada tour in the Arctic. Since then, Tom has regularly returned to join the Adventure Canada team. He has travelled with guest passengers such as Margaret Atwood, Bill “Father Goose” Lishman, and Farley Mowat aboard cruises that took him to Iceland, Greenland, the Northwest Passage, many Inuit communities in Nunavut, as well as to Baja California, the Galapagos Islands, and the Antarctic!
In January 2010, Kovacs left his job as a computer programmer/analyst at Canadian Tire home office to pursue his passion for music full time. In July of that same year, he graduated from the online Berklee College of Music with a Songwriting Specialist Certificate.
In December 2013, Tom 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, Prince Edward County, Port Perry, and Pickering!
Tom's heavy singing schedule took a toll on his voice. On June 1, 2016, he underwent surgery to remove two polyps from his vocal cords. He was extremely lucky in having one of the top otolaryngologists in Canada perform the operation; the very same doctor who in 2005 performed a similar operation on Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo.
The polyps were successfully removed with no complications. For the several months following surgery, Kovacs dedicated himself to learning proper vocal technique so as to avoid injuring his cords again.
Today, his voice is stronger than it has ever been!