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Rai Thistlethwayte

Rai Thistlethwayte


Vital Stats


Rai is a one of Australia's most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. As a songwriter, he has been nominated for APRA Song of The Year. His band, Thirsty Merc, has sold over 250,000 albums in Australia, and has been nominated for 5 ARIA awards. Since 2002, Thirsty Merc has released 4 studio albums and a string of hits in the Australian Music Charts.

Rai was taught to play the piano by his mother from the age of 4. He started wriIng songs around the age of 15. After finishing high school he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he commenced a Bachelor of Music in jazz piano. Enjoying heavy airplay and touring extensively, Thirsty Merc have become a household name in Australia. Rai's composiIon "In The SummerIme" has been the theme song to internationally acclaimed Aussie TV show "Bondi Rescue" for 11 consecuIve seasons.

Aside from his work in Rock and Pop, Rai performs as a solo arIst based around his love of Jazz, Soul, and Groove music. He has released 1 album and 4 Solo EPs and has toured Australia and the U.S. since 2012. Some of his notable collaboraIons have been with ARIA award-winning guitarist James Muller, Trumpeter James Morrison, and Grammy Nominated U.S. jazz bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Wynton Marsalis band). Currently based between Sydney and Los Angeles, Rai tours globally with U.S. Funk/Electronic band KNOWER and New York based guitarist Oz Noy. In 2019 Rai became a feature arIst for Nord Keyboards, with 8 live videos released featuring Morgan Agren on drums (Frank Zappa, Glenn Hughes band). Thirsty Merc have just completed 72 shows for their "Summer 2019" Tour and Rai is performing select solo shows in Australia and abroad to close out the year.


2024 Satch/Vai Tour
2024 G3 Reunion Tour
2023 Earth Tour Europe
2022 Earth Tour US
2022 The Elephants of Mars (Studio Album)
2020 Shapeshifting Tour (Cancelled due to pandemic)