Winner of the 2017 Kenny Wheeler Prize, Tom was raised in a musical family and grew up surrounded by music, from Frank Sinatra to Louis Armstrong. He started the saxophone at the age of 9 but it wasn’t until a few years later that Will Osborne’s inspiring lessons led Tom to a specific interest in Jazz.
Tom joined the Junior Jazz Course at the Royal Academy of Music aged 16, before going on to gain a scholarship place on the Undergraduate Jazz Programme at the Academy in 2013 and earning a First Class Hons degree in 2017. During his time at the Academy, Tom has slowly become recognised as one of the most exciting young players emerging on the scene. Tom has recently released his Kenny Wheeler Prize debut album BLOOMER on Edition Records and is looking forward to touring the album throughout the UK- https://tombarford.bandcamp.com/. Tom also enjoys co-leading a quartet with James Maddren, Alex Hitchcock and Ferg Ireland. Previous performances have included Ronnie Scott’s, The Royal Albert Hall, (BBC Proms), Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival, The Vortex, The 606 Club, and the Pizza Express Jazz Club among others. Session work Tom has been involved in includes playing playing saxophone on console game soundtracks for LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 and LEGO DC Villians for acclaimed composer Ian Livingstone. Tom has also appeared with Tom Fletcher (Live Blue Peter appearance).
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A strikingly large new British jazz talent arrives with saxophonist Tom Barford WRITTEN IN MUSIC
We are witnessing the birth of a new star in the jazz firmament. EVAN PARKER
“Bloomer is possessed with an overarching and consistent vibrancy which is clearly indicative of even greater things to come from this talented musician.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ
‘A wonderful young player. It’s so exciting to hear him grow!’ STAN SULZAMNN