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Tommy Igoe is one of today's most successful and diverse drummers. Born in New Jersey, Igoe comes from a musical family. Ever since he began drumming as a 2-year-old, it was clear that music would be Tommy's passion. "He had to be dragged away from the drums," said his father, Sonny. During his early years, Igoe spent 15 years studying classical and jazz piano. He credits this experience as having a huge role in crafting his unique career.
Igoe captured just about every junior and senior high school drumming award on the East coast and went on to tour with the Glenn Miller Band when he was just 18. In 1986, his career took off when he became active in the New York recording scene, and simultaneously joined the band Blood, Sweat and Tears as their touring drummer.
Through the years that followed, Igoe quickly moved on to other great bands and artists including: New York Voices, Stanley Jordan, Art Garfunkel and Dave Grusin. This continued until 1997, when he was asked to help create the drumset book for what would become a legendary production: The Lion King on Broadway.
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His book, which integrated the modern drumset with traditional African percussion, established a new benchmark for the drumset voice within musical theatre. It is currently being performed worldwide by many official companies. Igoe was an associate conductor of the Broadway production.
While living in New York City, Tommy acted as bandleader for The Birdland Big Band -- the hottest weekly music event in New York. Tommy currently lives in San Francisco where his new band, The Tommy Igoe Big Band, enjoys a weekly residency at the Rrazz Room.
Education plays a huge part in Igoe's musical genome. Says Igoe, "My father was one of the most respected drum teachers of any era, so I think it's in my blood." In 2004, Igoe created what has since become a legendary fixture in any serious drummers collection: Groove Essentials. This groundbreaking work has been credited with influencing more teachers and educators than any educational publication of the last 50 years. Groove Essentials has gone on to become required method work at many universities and is being used to introduce young players to new styles they may not discover on their own. There are currently more a quarter million copies in use around the world.
Igoe has long been known for his technical facility on the drumset. This lead to the creation of Great Hands for a Lifetime, a DVD that helps build a strong technical foundation for a drummer's hands. The product spotlights Tommy's "Lifetime Warmup," along with other technical influences such as Drum Corps, concert percussion, and hand percussion. Great Hands for a Lifetime is currently the drum world's number one selling educational product.
"I'm a hybrid of all these wonderful experiences," says Igoe. "I was taught a great rudimental routine to keep my hands in shape that I wanted to share ig with drummers around the world. The Lifetime Warmup is what I credit with keeping my chops healthy and strong over three decades of drumming and now everyone can benefit from it."
The new DVD and book, Fillosophy, will be the third installment in the Groove Essentials series. The product will bring Tommy's unique focus and insight into the oft-confusing world of fills and solos.
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