What do Johnny Carson, the Statler Brothers, Garrison Keillor and Leon Redbone, along with many others, have in common? Well, they have all enjoyed the pleasure of the many skills of world-famous pianist, Tom Roberts.
Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts brings back its long-time friend and audience favorite in ”The Many Worlds of TOM ROBERTS: From Stride Piano and Virtuosic New Orleans Rhythm & Blues to Tango and Choro” on Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 PM in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall.
JazzBeat Magazine says “ In our humble opinion Tom Roberts is without question one of the finest pianists today in the exciting Harlem stride piano style.”
J oin us for a memorable musical extravaganza as he brings virtuosic pianism with exceptional program commentary into the musical magic of these genres! Seating is limited due to PA Covid Guidelines, so please reserve your seats early! Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 and Students $5. Call to reserve at 724-659-3153 and pay by cash or check at the door or buy online at alleghenyriverstone.org.
Tom tells of going to Cleveland to hear Harry Butler play a few years back. Afterwards Tom went to meet the jazz legend. A blind man since his youth, Harry Butler shook Tom’s hand and just wouldn’t let it go, seeming to sense something about this Being. Butler asked Tom – “Who are YOU?” Tom told him his name and Butler said, “Tom Roberts – I’ve heard you. You’re great!”
Originally from Pittsburgh, Tom played all the major jazz clubs in the French Quarter and on the riverboats of New Orleans when he lived there from 1989 to 1994. Tom has performed twice at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2003, once with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. He was featured in 2003 in solo with Dick Hyman at the prestigious Jazz In July series at New York’s 92nd St. Y. Tom has performed multiple times at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, including a solo performance at The Professor Longhair Society’s Piano Night At Tipitina’s. He has performed throughout Europe as a member of multiple ensembles from New Orleans and as a member of The Ortner Roberts Duo.
Tom has performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Statler Brothers Show on TNN and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was the featured pianist at the International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, 2001 and 2009. He was the pianist for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in New York City (recent Grammy winners for the soundtrack to Boardwalk Empire) and the pianist and musical director for Leon Redbone for six years.
Roberts has arranged and performed music for the soundtrack of the Martin Scorcese film The Aviator as well as several titles for the film DeLovely; for the syndicated PRI show Riverwalk Jazz, Live from the Landing with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band; and a number of pieces for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a concert of the music of Louis Armstrong in October 2006.
Tom has recorded over 40 albums and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He continues to tour worldwide and perform with bands from New Orleans and New York, including the Original Dixieland Jazz-band and the Lousiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble.
Besides his pianistic artistry, Tom is a versatile music historian with special focus on the Early Jazz era . He has contributed articles for magazines such as Piano Today and is a frequent guest at National Public Radio.