Tommy Campbell
February 14, 1957
© Urs Leuenberger

Tommy Campbell

Tommy Campbell grew up outside of Philadelphia steeped in a musical environment, permeated with the notes of his father, an organist and singer, and his uncle, Jimmy Smith, the renowned Hammond B-3 virtuoso.

“I was surrounded by music from the time I was two years old. My father and drummer Mickey Roker would rehearse at the house a lot. Whenever Uncle Jimmy had a new record he was releasing, he’d come over with a prerelease copy. We would listen to it together as a family. I used to play along with those records for hours.”

Tommy attended the Berklee College of Music, the international center for education in professional music renowned for its acclaimed Jazz faculty, where he majored in instrumental performance (1979) and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.

Campbell’s long tenure with Dizzy began in the late 70’s, and continued through the 80’s and 90’s, and concluded with a personal jam session with the renowned master several months before Gillespie’s passing in January of 1993.

“Dizzy taught me to be as relaxed and loose about the music. He knew how to have fun while being serious at the same time. It was a balance, like the music. He attracted entertainers, lesser-known musicians, and fans into jazz music. He was a real people person, and a real professional.”

He has been inspired by legendary drummers such as Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, the late greats Art Blakey and Tony Williams. Mr. Campbell has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of Jazz’s leading talents.

He has performed as a regular member with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, John McLaughlin, The Manhattan Transfer, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Jordan, Tania Maria, Gary Burton, and a host of other Jazz greats. 

Tommy’s intelligent, exciting and stylistically authentic drumming has established him as a leading member of a new generation of Jazz Masters.

Tommy Campbell
Extended Drum Solo 2010
Atttila László and friends: 10th of May, 2010 - Budapest, Palace of Arts -

Tommy Campbell - Stanley Jordan - Charnett Moffett
Return Expedition
The concert took place at the Montreal Jazz Festival. 1993 -
This performance was also "nominated" for a "Grammy Award".

Tommy Campbell Sonny Rollins

Kimiko Itoh (vo) Soichi Noriki (pf) Eddie Gomez (b) TOKU (flh)
Makoto Ozone (pf) Tommy Campbell (ds)

Mark Tourian - Eddie Henderson
Jonathan Katz - Tommy Campbell
B Flat (Tokyo), April 2004

Tommy Campbell's New Organ Eyes Session Band

On tour with Dizzy Gillespie 1979.

On tour in London,England with Dizzy Gillespie 1981 in a "London Taxi".
(Diz in front, and Ed Cherry, Michael Howel and Tommy in the back.

On Tour in Paris, France with John McLaughlin 1983.

On tour with Jimmy Smith - and pictured with Claude Nobs
(founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival), Switzerland - 1987.

Tommy Campbell
Appearance Zildjian Days 1984

...some years ago: the first Gig

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