Tom Walsh

Born & raised — classically — in St John’s, Newfoundland, Tom Walsh lived & worked in Toronto for more than ten years before rebooting in Montréal and currently living in Toronto.

He’s performed &/or recorded improvisational or popular music with/for such artists as: Steven Barry, Iva Bittova, Jane Bunnett, Pierre Cartier, Michel F Côté, Paul Cram, Michel Cusson, Jean Derome, Lisle Ellis, Fred Frith, Vinny Golia, Bill Grove, Gerry Hemingway, Julius Hemphill, Jim Hillman, DD Jackson, Oliver Jones, Guy Kluscevek, Michel Lemieux, Robert Marcel Lepage, Evan Lurie, René Lussier, Al MacDowell, Joe McPhee, Phil Minton, David Mott, Bern Nix, Mary Margaret O’Hara, poet Michael Ondaatje, Zappa’s Don Preston, Bobby Wiseman, the Cowboy Junkies, the Barenaked Ladies, and Bran Van 3000 in Canada, the United States of America or throughout Europe.

As composer, his commissions include Toronto’s Hemispheres — he’s a founding member — (2x); mezzo soprano Kimberly Barber (3 things suite — words by e e cummings); Montréal choreographers Estelle Clareton (3x), Jose Navas (2x) and Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood (2x); Halifax’s Upstream Ensemble; CBC Morningside; Buddies in Bad Times’ new theatre launch; filmmaker Don McKellar (Blue, with David Cronenberg & Tracy Wright); video artist Dennis Day (Autobiography); playwright sensation Daniel MacIvor (Jump); interactive media pioneer Don Ritter (Excity); marionettiste/performance artiste Marcelle Hudon (Madame Chen, Portraits d’un renard), new technology and electronic art symposium ISEA’95 (Genesis After Babel), new technology music presenters [the user] (Pozon for solo trombone) and Contemporary Music Projects (the man with seven toes — words by Michael Ondaatje).

Since the early nineties, working “in the cracks” between the Jazz Avant Garde, Contemporary Classical and Alternative New music traditions, Tom has developed a unique name for himself as the leader or co-leader of six contemporary Canadian groups: Walsh/Underhill, with Toronto’s own sax genie, Richard Underhill; Midi tapant (High Noon), digital/acoustic adventures with Pierre Tanguay& “found-sound”; Swifty Lazarus, experiments with sound/media manipulations & Todd Swift’s spoken word; Pots & Pans, a six piece modern cabaret “pit orchestra of the mind”; Royal Jelly, an exclusive hiphopjazz party band; and, last but not least, the infamous “7-headed hydra” known as Noma, perhaps Canadian jazz’s first harmonic de-scaler.

More recently, Tom completed an Eastern European solo trombone concert tour in 2000. On record, he’s featured on more than 40 national or international releases (from most of the names above), including a healthy dose of the Ambiances Magnétiques catalogue.

On the web

Tom Walsh

St John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada), 1960

Residence: Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

  • Composer
  • Performer (trombone, sampler)
  • Improviser

Associated groups