He took up playing the saxophone aged 11, having already gained a distinction in grade 8 violin. Starting on alto he was soon offered the lead chair in his school’s big band wher,e by the end of his school career, he had written and arranged several pieces as well as been a featured soloist on the band’s album.
In 2003 Tom was offered a place on the Royal Academy Junior Jazz Course, which gave him the opportunity to meet and play with many great players. These included Tim Garland, with whom Tom performed in Norwich, and Stan Sultzmann, who also gave Tom several individual lessons. Several people came in to give masterclasses for the course, including Liam Noble, Nikki Iles, Pete Churchill, Tom Cawley, Darren Altman and others.
It was Tom’s early big band experience that led him to NYJO, which he joined in 2005. It was with NYJO that Tom made his Ronnie Scott’s debut in January 2007 and he has composed and arranged many pieces for the band, including Return Flight, one of the featured tracks on NYJO‘s recent album The Change.
Tom formed his own Nonet, consisting of himself on tenor, Tommy Andrews/Mick Foster (baritone), James Gardiner-Bateman (alto), Freddie Gavita/Will Rixon (trumpet), Patrick Hayes/Tom White (trombone), Dave Hamlett/Josh Morrison (drums), Peter Randall (bass), Sam Leak/Kit Downes (piano) and Lewis Wright (vibes) at the end of 2008.
Now, in between MDing and playing with the NYJO Nonet, Tom works with The Maccabees, with whom he has toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe.