Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Campbell, Tommy

Campbell, Tommy [Thomas Walter Campbell III], drums; b. Norristown,  PA, 14 February 1957.

He grew up up in Willow Grove, PA, 20 minutes  from Philadelphia. His father was Thomas Walter Campbell II, a  vocalist and organist who played with "Bullmoose" Jackson at one  time and made a living performing in hotels and events all over the  country. Drummer, Mickey Roker on occasion would play gigs with  him. Tommy's father left the family when Tommy was six years old.  His mother, Catherine Peoples Campbell, was a dancer in theater and  tennis player in her youth, but after becoming a mother, she worked  extensively in education and climbed her way to big positions in  urban schools and career training programs such as Branch  Chairwomen at "O.I.C.(Opportunities Industrialist Center, founded  by Rev Leon Sullivan). Tommy's sister, Karen McKentyer Campbell  (Severin) (b. 4/5/58) earned a scholarship to Boston College in  1976 During school, she became an intern at I.B.M. in her second  year, and was at I.B.M. for almost twenty-five years; she died at  age 44 of a Stroke during a battle with Cancer.His wife, Etsuko "Jessie" Kitagami Campbell (b. 2/24/59), performed  in music videos in the 1980s as a model in Osaka, Japan. She also  worked in a famous bar among Japanese celebrities called  "Children", also in Osaka, Japan. Their son, Teman Shoma Campbell  (b. 6/3/01), was born in Tokyo, Japan.

Charles A. Ballard was Tommy's sixth grade teacher 1969, a  musician. His uncle and godfather is Jazz Great / Hammond B3  Organist Jimmy Smith. At Berklee College of Music (1975-1979), he  first finally fully realized during a listening analysis class just  how world renowned his uncle was.From his hometown, Campbell was taught by Curtis Warner, Mickey  Roker and Grady Tate. From grades 1 thru 12 he was taught locally  by  Eric Williams, Kirby Lee, Jimmy Cotmon. Tommy's general  teachers at Berklee College Of Music were Kenwood "Woody" Denard (a  student at the time), Dennis Carlson (1975), Robert Wagner (1976),  Ed Kaspick (1977), Gary Chaffee (1977-78) and Lenny Nelson (1978-).  At Berklee, Tommy majored in Instrumental Performance.Tommy returned to The Berklee College Of Music for several years as  an Instructor of Drums and Percussion. He has also taught at  Drummer's Collective and The New School, both in New York City.  Additionally when time allows, he performs clinics, workshops and  master-classes. He also offers private instruction in his studios  in New York City USA, and Tokyo,Japan.Tommy's currently has 2 different bands based in NEW YORK CITY, USA and 4 different bands based in TOKYO, JAPAN.

New York City, USA
Tommy Campbell "VOCAL Session Band":
Tommy Campbell "Session Band":

Tokyo, Japan
Tommy Campbell "VOCAL Session Band":

Tommy Campbell "Session Band":
Tommy Campbell "Organ-Eyes Session Band":
Tommy Campbell "Rhythm Rain Session Band":

He has been inspired by legendary drummers such as the late great Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, the late Art Blakey, and the late Tony Williams, and has earned himself a well-deserved reputation as one of Jazz's leading talents.  As a "regular member" 
he has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, John McLaughlin, The Manhattan Transfer, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Jordan, Tania Maria, Gary Burton, and a host of other Jazz greats.

Hall of fame at Abington High School, Class of 75;
Distinguished Alumni award at Berklee College of Music, Class of 75

As a leader:
My Heart (1991);

As side-person:
Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz Buhne Berlin '81;
Sonny Rollins: Sunny Days -  Starry Nights;
John McLaughlin: Music Spoken Here, Belo Horizonte; 
Kevin Eubanks: Guitarist, Sundance, Opening Night, Shadow Profits; 
Loose Ends: So Where Are You; Ray Anderson: Don't mow your lawn (1994), Heads and Tales(1996);
Mokoto Ozone: After (1986);
Richie Cole: Richie Cole Plays West Side Story (1996);
Gary Burton and the Berklee All-Stars;
Robin Eubanks and Steve Turre: Dedication; 
Smappies: Rhythmsticks;
Mingus Big Band: Live in Time;
Clifford Jordan Big Band: Play What You Feel;
Roots Salutes The Saxophone (1992);
David Murray: The David Murray Quintet (1994);
Manhattan Transfer: Notes from the Underground (1993);
Santi DeBriano Group: The Panamaniacs (1993);
Onaje Allan Gumbs: Dare to Dream (1991)

Radio and television:
Good Morning America TV show with Dizzy Gillespie; shows like "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson hosting, then Branford Marsalis hosting and then Kevin Eubanks hosting;NBC,ABC,CBS,BBC,RAI,MTV, etc.

"Jazz in America" with Dizzy Gillespie; Ray Brown; Zildjian Day in New York (1987) on "DCI" video company; "A Night in Tunisia"( a documentary with Dizzy Gillespie).
Stanley Jordan trio  LIVE at The Montreal Jazz Festival 199? (Stanley Jordan performs his composition "Return Expedition." which features a drum solo by Tommy Campbell.).

Also a variety of performances on YOUTUBE with guitarist John McLaughlin, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, The Manhattan Transfer, and others.

Down Beat, Modern Drummer featured article 1985,Rhythm Magazine featured article 1990, Jazz Is, etc.; Two featured articles in Strumenti Musicali Magazine 1998 and 2001 (an Italian musicians magazine); Jazz Life and Swing Journal in Japan 80's, 90's, 2000, 2001, 2002 and *currently.

Contact information:
home number in New York City:(212)642-8194(ans.service available "24/7/365")

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