Monday, June 15, 2009

Evans Artist Spotlight:Tommy Igoe-Birdland Big Band



NAME: Tommy Igoe

AGE: Older than Tony Royster and younger than Yoda.

CURRENT JOB(S): Music Director and leader of the Birdland Big Band. Principal Drummer and conductor of The Lion King on Broadway.

YEARS AT CURRENT POSITION: 12

THE EARLY YEARS: (some information on where you grew up, where you studied, degree(s) earned)
Grew up in Emerson New Jersey. Studied piano and drums.



ONE THING YOU ARE PRACTICING RIGHT NOW IS: One thing? There’s a lot more than one, but I guess I’ve been partial to the Linear Time Playing book lately by Gary Chaffee because it’s always a mentally stimulating challenge.

MY PLAYLIST OF “TOP (5) SONGS” WOULD INCLUDE: this is an impossible task!

Adagio for Strings
Fool in the Rain
West Side Story (all of it)
La Fiesta
Beethoven Piano Sonata

QUICK PRACTICE TIP: Relax, Breathe and videotape

WORST NON-MUSIC RELATED JOB, DESCRIBE: Meat packer at ShopRite during high school. Title says it all…

HOBBIES INCLUDE: cooking, martial arts and lusting after cars I have no business looking at. You know, like late model Lamborghinis. I can’t help myself…

Detailed Answers :WHAT EVENT, PERSON, OR MOMENT HAD THE MOST IMPACT ON YOU AS A MUSICIAN?

I had three educator/mentors who influenced me greatly during what is typically a very influential time in a young man’s life. You know, that period between 14 to 18 years old; those years can set you up for success or disaster. These three mentors, Darryl Bott, Dennis Delucia and my father, Sonny Igoe, showed me the way. By example, their obvious passion for what they did was to become the guiding light for my career. You see, they showed me the most important thing of all: That it is okay to give your all—everything you have— to music. That teaching, playing, writing, performing, all deserve everything you’ve got, every time. In fact, don’t waste your time if you aren’t going to dedicate every ounce of yourself into the art. Because, that’s what it takes to make art worthy of an audience. I thank them often as I go through my musical adventures.




MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE OR TRIP:

I went behind the Iron Curtain in 1983. My first trip overseas and it was to be probably the most amazing. I went to Poland. Not the Poland we all know now, the old Poland. The beaten down and absued by the Soviet system Poland. Everything was grey. Everything. No color. But the people… Joyous! Full of life and energy! We played a concert (The Glenn Miller Band) that contained a lot of WWII era music and they were weeping openly. Men and Women. The music we played was smuggled in during the war. The people there had a connection to the music I couldn’t even begin to comprehend. An emotional connection that formed who they were. I’ll never forgot the feeling, the privilege, of playing for that audience.


WHAT WOULD YOU BE IF NOT A MUSICIAN,& WHY?

Something with law enforcement. I think there is something inherently honorable about trying to keep people safe and “getting the bad guys”. I know that’s a na├»ve way to look at law enforcement in our complex world but I can’t help it: I still have a 5-year olds outlook on the matter. Get the bad guy and we win! One can dream…


Additional Media:

2 comments:

  1. Tommy,
    I appreciate what you've done with the Groove Essentials series. I'm a fellow endorsee of Evans Drumheads and Vic Firth sticks. I'm a private drum teacher and your material is what I would have wanted to come up with. It's great man. I hope to be able to speak with you and meet you in the near future. Thank you for being a great inspiration.
    -Lance Beckford

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  2. Tommy, one thing: you rock! Fool in the rain is the only song that blew me away the first time I heard it

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