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Tom McDermott is one of New Orleans’ premiere piano players and composers.  He grew up in St. Louis, where he earned a Masters’ Degree in Music, wrote music journalism for the morning paper, and soaked up the sounds of ragtime and traditional jazz that flourished in the 1960s and 70s.  In 1984, spurred by his love of James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, he moved to New Orleans, a trip enabled by a gig at the World’s Fair.

Tom has been quite busy the last 25 years.  For much of the 1990s he was a Duke of Dixieland, which took him to Europe, Asia, South America and all over the States (including Carnegie Hall); he recorded several albums with the Dukes, including a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton with the great Danny Barker.
In 1995, after arranging a tune for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band album “Jelly,” he co-founded the modern brass band the New Orleans Nightcrawlers.  During his stay with the band they recorded three albums, two for the Rounder Records label.
Tom has written for the theatre (the Obie-award-winning off-Broadway show, “Nita and Zita”), appeared in bit roles in the movies and TV (“He Said She Said” and the HBO series “Treme,” and had his music used frequently on NPR.  A group he co-led with clarinetist Evan Christopher, the Danza Quartet, appeared on NPR’s New Year’s Eve show, “Toast of the Nation,” on 2008-2009.
He has recorded 10 albums as a leader, and there is more info on these recordings in the CDs section.  He has recorded 75 original tunes.
Tom is known for his eclecticism, and as just about the only New Orleans pianist to stretch from the mid-19th-century music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk to the funky New Orleans piano today.  He has a great love of Brazilian music (13 trips there so far), the Beatles, European classical music, early Duke Ellington, and much more.
In addition to music, Tom is a voracious traveller: he’s visited all 50 states and six continents, and writes about them whenever he can.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Kirsten Falke-Boyd permalink
    June 30, 2011 5:07 am

    Tom is simply the original “himself man” (don’t know how else to say it), setting a whole new standard for where music and one person can go, and do. When he’s happening, and he always is, that’s where you want to be. Kirsten Falke-Boyd

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