Primary Instrument: Guitar
Tom Wolfe, Associate Dean of Humanities & Fine Arts in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of jazz studies, Leadership Board Fellow (03-06). M.M., Eastman School of Music; B.M., Capital University. Studied with Gene Bertoncini, Rayburn Wright, Bill Dobbins. Recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Wolfe is the first jazz musician to receive this honor. Kennedy Center/USIA Jazz Ambassador. Toured several countries of North and West Africa under the auspices of this prestigious program. Awarded by the Druid Arts Council Musician of the Year. Wolfe has served as president of the Alabama Chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education - is currently the webmaster for this organization. Commissions include the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Jazz Band and other universities in the U.S. Performed throughout the U.S., El Salvador, France and Romania. Clinician and adjudicator at college and high school festivals and jazz camps throughout the region. Former faculty member at University of Southwestern Louisiana, Kenyon College, Otterbein College. University of Alabama faculty member since 1994.
Recently, Tom Wolfe has been performing throughout Alabama under the auspices of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Rural School Touring Program. This program is geared to help schools who do not have arts programs in their school or access to larger metropolitan areas for live performances. An important component of the program is to talk with the students about the 'life of a musician.' Says Wolfe, Music is a part of everyone's life, whether we experience it on the radio, church, or school, in some way or another it is a daily component in our existence. Many of the students are intrigued by the possibilities of being a musician. We go to these programs to answer questions, to challenge them, and to perform music from the jazz tradition, an American art form. It has been a very rewarding experience for us.
Wolfe was also appointed to the Kennedy Center/USIA Jazz Ambassador program. Following in the footsteps of other Jazz Ambassador's like, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie, Wolfe toured five countries in West and North Africa. For four and a half weeks, he performed concerts and gave masterclasses in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Morocco. With his duo partner, Rick Condit, they met with African musicians and performed for crowds as small as 35 people in a private residence to over 1,000 people in a town arena.
To kick off the tour, the duo performed a concert on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts. This concert was cybercast live and highlights of the concert are archived on the Kennedy Center's website: www.kennedy-center.org
Wolfe has performed and/or recorded with Lew Soloff, Gene Bertoncini, Lou Marini, Mundelle Lowe, Bill Goodwin, Frank Vignola, Harvie Swartz, Ken Watters, Bill Huntington, Victor Atkins, Hilary Jones, Oteil Burbridge, Charli Persip, Giacomo Gates, Jamie Aebersold, Bob Hope, Englebert Humperdink, Rosemary Clooney, Rose Marie, Chita Rivera, Jerry Van Dyke, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Lawrence Welk Orchestra, etc.