Born: January 29, 1967 Primary Instrument: Drums
Tom Bancroft is a drummer, composer, bandleader and educator. He trained as a medical doctor at Cambridge but now makes a living from playing, composing, teaching and creating music education resources.
He has played with many great musicians ranging from Sun Ra & Martyn Bennett to Tommy Smith, Tom Cawley, Billy Jenkins, Geri Allen, Marilyn Crispell, Satoko Fuji, Keith Tippett, and Bill Wells.
He is a co-leader of the bassless Trio AAB, and leads his own projects: His big band Orchestro Interrupto released a critically acclaimed album in 2009 “memorably rich multi layered big band music (4 stars)“ The Guardian and led a new big band project ‘Band of Eden’ in summer 2010 **** “the music was always absorbing and often exhilirating” The Scotsman.
Children’s project Kidsamonium has gone from strength to strength, receiving a Herald Angel award in the Edinburgh Fringe in 2007, touring Scotland to audiences of 800 or more in 2008, and playing in Festivals in Europe from Austria to Portugal.and selling out the Bimhuis in Amsterdam in 2009.
He also leads the sextet the Tom Bancroft 6 pack as well as playing in several other long term projects including the Dave Milligan Trio, and the Laura MacDonald sextet.
In 2004 he won the Creative Scotland Award and in 2007 he won the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation and a Herald Angel award for the performance of Kidsamonium in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has led many large scale community and education projects, including 150 primary school kids performing at the London Jazz Festival, 200 at Perth Concert Hall with classical percussionist Colin Currie, and 100 parents, grandparents and children playing drums and percussion at the Big Stix project at Gateshead Jazz Festival, The Sage.
Tom is an active teacher and educator - from private drum students to teaching composition and leading big bands. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Tom has always been active in setting up new ways to promote jazz and improvisation. He curated a series of mini festivals for UK and European musicians inside the Glasgow Jazz Festival in the 90‘s called Clandemonium and Europhonium. In 1998 he set up Caber Music, the Scottish Jazz Record label that ran for 7 years and released 35 CDs too great critical acclaim, and now he runs music education company ABC Creative Music with his twin brother Phil and his own label Interrupto Music. He was very active in setting up the Scottish Jazz Federation.
In 2010 he was musical director of major dance show ‘Off Kilter’ which played in major venues across Scotland, toured Scotland with the Dave Milligan trio, and premiered the ‘Band of Eden’ male/female big band to great critical acclaim, and Clandemonium a jazz flash mob event that drew 1500 people to Edinburgh’s High Street all wearing colour coded tammies and singing, playing drums and kazzoos, and dancing.
In the Autumn 2010, in his role at ABC Creative Music, Tom launched the innovative new website ABC Creative Music Online to allow Scottish schools to teach creative music by smartboard.
Awards:Creative Scotland Award 2004 BBC Jazz Award for Innovation 2007 Herald Angel Award for Leading Performance in Edinburgh Festival & Fringe 2007 for Kidsamonium
“the most instinctive powerhouse drummer on the Scottish Jazz scene” David Keenan, Sunday Herald “Tom Bancroft has been a key mover and shaker on a remarkably inventive Scottish jazz scene for many years, as drummer, composer and creative catalyst. As well as continuing his life as a tirelessly creative artist at the highest international level, in 2006 and 2007 he has extended his innovative range with Kidsamonium, a show that absorbs, inspires and entertains children of all ages (and their parents), combining jazz, improvisation, theatre and comedy, reaching a new generation of audiences in a fresh and uniquely personal approach, bringing the talents of musicians such as Oren Marshall, Claude Deppa, Laura MacDonald and Billy Jenkins into a whole new dimension.”
John Cumming on BBC Jazz Awards 2007 Website