Drummer Tom Cohen is a seasoned veteran of the Philadelphia
music scene having carved out a successful career in a town of many excellent
musicians. Though primarily a jazz musician, Tom has been busy as a freelance
drummer performing in an array of music styles from Funk and R&B
to Classic Rock, Latin and Middle-Eastern music. In addition to various
venues on the East coast, Tom performs select gigs throughout the US
Born in Newark, NJ and growing up in the NY area, Tom began playing drums
at the age of seven and eventually studied with drummer jazz great Tony
Williams while still in high school (‘71-‘72). While attending
George Washington University (‘72-‘75), Tom was invited into
the Howard University Big Band under the direction of Donald Byrd.
Upon moving to Philadelphia in the late 1970's he immediately became
involved in the jazz scene, joining the established fusion group Catalyst,
led by saxophonist Odean Pope. Since then he has worked with a myriad
of jazz luminaries such as saxophonists Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes,
Frank Tiberi, Ralph Bowen,, Seamus Blake, Joe Ford, trumpeters Johnny
Coles and John Swana, organ great Shirley Scott, pioneering pianist Uri
Caine, bassist Charles Fambrough, and guitarists Ben Monder and Dave
Stryker. He has also worked with internationally known artists Chris
Potter, Arnett Cobb, Ernie Watts, George Garzone, Bob Brookmeyer and
Dave Schnitter. Tom has also performed with electric jazz artists such
as guitarists Glenn Alexander and Jef Lee Johnson and bassists Dave LaRue
and Victor Bailey. He was an integral member of the Soul Survivors in
the 1980's and the Brazilian group, Minas, through the 1990's. He is
currently active gigging, touring and recording with the Middle-East/Fusion
band, Klingon Klez. In 2005 Tom formed a Miles Davis Electric tribute
band playing the music from legendary albums like “In a Silent
Way”, “Bitches Brew”, “Live Evil” and “Tutu”.
The band is rounded out by notable Philadelphia musicians John Swana
(electric trumpet), Tim Motzer (electric guitar), Dave Posmontier (electric
keyboard) and Chico Huff (electric bass).
Tom has performed at various international and national festivals including
Newport Jazz, JVC Jazz, Mellon Jazz, Bethlehem Music, Kulturtage (Berlin,
Germany), The Opera Haus (Fuerth, Germany), Gas Teig Concert Hall ( Munich,
Germany), Schlott Jazz Club (Berlin, Germany) and New York jazz clubs
such as Birdland, Smoke, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Visiones, 55 Bar, The Blue
Note, and in Phila. Zanizibar, Ortleibs, and Chris’.
Tom was a faculty member of Temple University’s Esther Boyer School
of Music during 1990-91 school year under the direction of Bill Evans
alumni, Chuck Israels. In September of 2001 Tom was selected by the Philly
Pops organization under the direction of Peter Nero to perform concerts/workshops
with his newly formed Latin Jazz Journey ensemble featuring percussionists
Pablo Baptista and Doc Gibbs and Brazilian jazz greats Sergio Brandao
and Cidhino Teixera.
Tom’s debut CD on Cadence jazz Records ,“The Tom Cohen Trio”,
with Ron Thomas and Mike Richmond was released in 1997, and achieved
international acclaim and praise. Record sales were particularly brisk
in Japan. It is now in its second printing.
His second recording was released in August of 1999 on Double-Time Records.
The release, entitled, “Diggin’ In - Digging Out”,
features the burgeoning talents of sax great Chris Potter as well as
piano and bass virtuosos Peter Madsen and Peter Herbert respectively.
The music traverses a variety of hard driving grooves cross-laminated
with sensitive interplay all of which explore forays into the unknown.
Liner notes/artist profile can viewed on the Review
page (Bill Milkowski).
2006 saw the release of Tom’s newest CD, “The Guitar Trio
Project”, on Dream Box Media http://www.dreamboxmedia.com,
featuring six stellar trios. Adventurous jazz greats Ben Monder, Kurt
Rosenwinkle and Jef Lee Johnson as well as Rez Abassi, Bruce Saunders
and Paul Bollenbeck stretch out on a diverse repertoire.
Tom proudly endorses Istanbul Agop Cymbals and Canopus Drums.
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