Thara Memory, music alum, led his American Music Program to win the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in May 2015.
Department of Music
MM, University of New Orleans
Instrument / Subject
Tom Sandahl has been teaching since 1999, including two years coaching jazz combos at The University of New Orleans, and two years teaching music at Delgado Community College in New Orleans. He can perform and teach proficiently in several different styles including jazz, classical, blues, rock, fusion, traditional jazz, bluegrass, R&B, Latin, and a little country.
Tom began piano lessons at age 6 and guitar lessons at the age of 14. While studying classical guitar performance at The University of Wyoming, Tom was exposed to musician/teachers including Manuel Barrueco, The Assad Brothers, Paul Odette and Bela Fleck. He then moved to New Orleans to explore his interest in African American Music, and to study with the jazz guitar great, Steve Masakowski. While a student at University of New Orleans, Tom performed in master classes for many world-class jazz musicians/teachers including Terrence Blanchard, Mulgrew Miller, Howard Alden, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, Stephan Harris and Carl Allen. In 2002 he was accepted to The Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Aspen Summer Program. There he studied with Russell Malone, Wallace Roney, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash.
Tom has performed with many bands as a sideman, and leader. In New Orleans, Tom worked with Amy Trail, Vic Sheppard, The Elastic Karma Kings, James Stephens, Government Magic and his own band, Red Shift. Since relocating to Portland in November 2005, Tom has been working with several local bands, including Stephen Walker and The Few Chosen, Indigo, The Devin Phillips Funk Ensemble, Jesse Young and the Night and The Lohranda Steele Band. Currently, Tom's most steady band is The Shanghai Woolies, led by Pink Martini's trumpet player, Gavin Bondy.
Some of Tom's recent northwest performances include The Portland Jazz Festival, The Portland Blues Festival, The Newport Symphony, Celebrate Hillsboro Festival, Bite Of Seattle, Spokane Swing Festival and Portland clubs including The Blue Monk, El Guacho, Andina, Tony Starlight's, The Tin Shed, Hawthorne Theatre, Acadia, Mississippi Studios, Jimmy Mak's and The Candlelight.