Trumpeter, pianist, arranger and composer Tommy Stewart was born on November 19th, 1939. His mother, a songwriter, vocalist and choir conductor, set him on a musical path and at the age of 10 he was in his High School marching band. He was even voted “most musical” by classmates at graduation time. Stewart taught music as a band director while performing and arranging outside of class. In 1964 he played with Fred Wesley and members of the 55th Army band. He wrote and composed for TV and played with Blue Note recording artist Duke Pearson.
Tommy Stewart is best described as a quintessential musician. This description is evidenced by his impressive musical career, which has spanned over 40 years. As a teenager, Stewart studied with the legendary “Fess” Whately. Later, he attended Alabama State University, where he served as the leader of the well-known Alabama State Collegians. Stewart also attended Alabama A & M University and the Eastman School of Music.
As an educator, Stewart served as assistant band director at Morehouse College and music instructor at Georgia State University. As a professional musician, Stewart has arranged for and performed with various artists, including Sonny Stitt, Joe Newman, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Bobby Blue Band, Gladys Knight, Barry White, Wynton Marsalis, Issac Hayes, Lou Rawls, Erskine Hawkins, and many others.
Tommy Stewart is the co-founder of the African-American Philharmonic Orchestra and was inducted as a member of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988. He has recorded many times as a band leader, including his latest, Tommy Stewart and His Orchestra, on Jazzology Records.