Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Tom (Thomas Albert)

Tom (Thomas Albert), tenor saxophone; b. San Francisco, CA, 20 July 1926. His father, Milton Joseph Hart (1895-1972), was born in Hayward, CA. His mother, Theodora Vivian Fraga (Hart) (1896-1989), was also born in Hayward, CA.

He attended San Francisco State College, 1947-1954, getting a Masters in Music. He studied composition with Wendell Otey.

He is married to Gloria Luana Hagler (Hart). They have a daughter, Pamela Lynne (Hart) Fobert, who has an AB degree in voice from BYU Provo, Utah. Their son, Thomas Kevin Hart, has a MA degree in Music from California State University at Hayward.

Born and raised in San Francisco as the only child to a pharmacist and his wife, Hart attended school there through college. Polytechnic High School was where he met Paul Britenfeld, (AKA Paul Desmond) of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. At San Francisco State College, he on occasion joined Paul, Allen Smith, Cal Tjader, Rudy Salvini, and other San Francisco luminaries in performance while earning a teaching credential and Masters Degree in Music.

He taught instrumental music in the San Francisco elementary schools, band and chorus at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley and San Leandro High School, chorus at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, and jazz studies and theory at De Anza College, where he became assistant Dean of Creative Arts. All told, he served 36 years in the teaching profession. My choral and instrumental groups consistently won Superior ratings in the California Music Educators Festivals, and one year won the First Place trophy in the West Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival with the De Anza Jazz Ensemble in 1975.

He has adjudicated jazz ensembles for the Bay Section CMEA, (where he was President for one year), and was clinician/lecturer at several conferences. He was a part of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Clinics, where he taught jazz improvisation for three years, and twice traveled to Australia and New Zealand.

He has two choral compositions published, and have written about 12 vocal charts for Jamie Davis, former singer with the Count Basie Band (which were never used to his knowledge) as well as for Jackie Ryan with the Rudy Salvini Band (used frequently). He has consistently contributed other instrumental charts to various big bands, including Salvini, Full Faith and Credit, and his college band. None were ever recorded. He has written a sextet book of about 100 charts, playable with a Bb and Eb lead, Bb and Eb Harmony I, Bb and C Bass Clef Harmony II, plus rhythm section.

All the while, he has worked in the Bay Area music business since high school, playing "casual" engagements, including accompanying such celebrities as Rita Moreno, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horn, Tex Beneke, Steve Allen, the Mills Brothers (which he conducted), Helen O'Connell, Frankie Layne, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many others. A highlight was performing as featured soloist with Tony Bennett for one and two-week engagements for eight years. He played with the Full Faith and Credit Band for about six years, and the Rudy Salvini Band for about 40- off and on. He substituted in the Brubeck Octet in the early days, and once played with the Stan Kenton Band. He played "Pink Panther" with Henry Mancini conducting the San Francisco Symphony and the Oakland Symphony.

He has shared solo space (sometimes brief) with Bill Watrous, Dave Liebman, Paul Desmond, Earl Garner, Jerry Coker, Jamey Aebersold, David Baker, Stan Getz, Hal Galper, Mark Levine, Frank Mantooth, Rufus Reid, Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Jim McNeely, John Scofield, Shelly Berg, John Handy, Tex Beneke, Allen Smith, Cal Tjader, Ed Kelly and others. He is a member of the San Francisco Bohemian Club since 1986, where he has arranged, composed, and conducted for various shows and concerts.

He is 76 years old, living in the house that he lived in while going to high school. He's been married to Gloria for 54 years and have two children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 

He has never made a recording, but is still active in the music business, and will play any time anywhere.

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