Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Christensen, Tom (Thomas Allen Christensen)

Christensen, Tom (Thomas Allen Christensen), Born Ventura CA, 27 Dec. 1961;
Sop/Alto/Tenor Sax, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet, Piccolo, Flute and Alto Flute, Oboe and English Horn, Composer, educator.

He grew up in Napa, California,. He was educated at The Eastman School of Music where he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees, and since then has been based in New York City. For eight years he was a member of The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and performed with the Orchestra around the world. He can be heard on their recordings as well as on Grammy nominated albums with Joe Lovano, Paquito D'Rivera, David Sanchez and Don Sebesky. He was soloist on Sebesky's 1999 Grammy award winning arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Take The Coltrane" and appears on Joe Lovano's CD "Viva Caruso." Christensen has performed with Lovano, The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, David Liebman and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has been a member of the BMI Jazz Composer's Orchestra since 1990 and has also played saxophone and woodwinds for many Broadway shows, television and radio commercials, and numerous film scores.

The Tom Christensen Ensemble, formed in 1994 to play Christensen's original compositions, frequently performs in New York City and does a series of educational workshops for Carnegie Hall each year in the New York City public schools. In 2003 Christensen was awarded a composition grant from Chamber Music America to write and perform an extended work for the ensemble based on the poetry of Frank O'Hara (featured on the CD "New York School"). He teaches at the Fieldston School in the Bronx.

Gualala (2000); Paths (2002);  New York School (2005)

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