Tommy Campbell grew up outside of Philadelphia in a musical environment. His father was an organist and singer, and his uncle is Jimmy Smith, the renowned Hammond B-3 ace. Reminiscing, Tommy says, "I was surrounded by music and drummers from the time I was two years old. My father and drummer Mickey Roker would rehearse at the house a lot and 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 lives in Tokyo, Japan with his lovely wife, Jessie and son Teman. He has friends all over the world and some family in the United States. Whenever he misses them he can always click here.
He 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.
Tommy played with Dizzy in the late 70's,80's and 90's. up until a Personal Jam Session several months before he died.
He has been inspired by legendary drummers such as the late great Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, the late great Art Blakey, and the late great Tony Williams and has earned himself 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 returned to the Berklee College of Music for several years as an instructor of drums and percussion. He has taught at Drummer's Collective and The New School, both in New York City. Additionally when time allows, he performs clinics, workshops and master-classes. He also offers private instruction in many schools & his studio.
Tommy's intelligent, exciting and stylistically authentic drumming has established him as a leading member of a new generation of Jazz musicians.