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Tom Lonardo: Bio

Born in Paris, Tn.,  Tom grew up in the family's music store - LONARDO PIANO COMPANY - and in his father's 10 piece dance band - Tom Lonardo & his Orchestra - "Tops In Dancing and Listening Pleasure".

 He holds a BM and MM from The University of Mississippi and attended The Berklee School of Music studying with Alan Dawson, but is mostly "self-taught". He was elected into the Ole Miss Jazz Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2011 received the Life Time Achievement award from The Memphis Musical Heritage Foundation.

Tom likes to play drums every night ...usually around Memphis.

Since the late 1960's, he has worked with many local, area and national bands including The Mississippians, Phase II, The Tom Ferguson Trio, The Royal American Showmen, George Coleman, Groove Holmes, Kay Starr, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Marvin Stamm, Bo Diddley,Bobby Broom, Russell Malone, Eric Alexander, Vincent Herring, Bob Dorough, Dee Barton, The Checkmates, The Diamonds, The Tony Thomas Trio, Edwin Hubbard and Prana, T.O. Earnheart, Ralphel Semmes, Gene Rush, Back Swing, Hot Cotton, Dog Police, Di Anne Price and Her Boyfriends, Gary Johns & Friends, Wendy Colonna, Ed Vodika, The Charlie Wood Trio,   K. C. Ray, Jim Dickinson, Wendy Moten, Peter Bernstien, Kerry McCoy, Sinne Eg, Thelma Houston, Terry Manning, Marion McCool and Billy Davis, Michael Jeffery Stevens, Breeze Cayolle, Shelly Berg, The Jumpin' Chi-Chis, Billie Dove, JR4, Anthony Wilson, and The Mighty Souls Brass Band. He is the captain of DOG POLICE!

Tom can be heard on recordings by The Tony Thomas Trio, Di Anne Price, Calvin Newborn, The Joe Restivo Four, Casey Lipe, Jim Dickinson, The Mighty Souls Brass Band, Gary Johns, Kallen Esperian, Ed Finney, Tim McCarver, Jim Johnson, Eden Brent, Alex Green, Ruby Wilson, The Memphis Horns, Dog Police, Waddy Mitchell, Jim Shearer, Marvin Stamm, Willie Toliver, The Bar-Kays, The Ole Miss Jazz Band, Billie Dove, Debra Swiney,The Memphis Symphony, Tom Sanders, Terry Thompson, Edwin Hubbard, Charlie Wood, Bob Dowell, Sam Shoup, and over 10,000 Jingles!


Beginning in 1990 he played for the great Mose Allison. When Mose came to the Mid South, they'd usually play Memphis, Oxford, and Jackson , Ms. or maybe The Bluebird in Nashville or a festival in Hot Springs. In 2007 they played Morgan Freeman's GROUND ZERO Blues club in Clarksdale. In 2008 they played the University of Arkansas and to a packed house at AUTOMATIC SLIM'S in Memphis! In 2010 it was a festival in Ridgeland, MS. and Sunday night at The Beauty Shop in Memphis. Rhodes College was the setting in February 2011. Delta State University hosted Mose February 2012 and in May the Township Jazz Festival.

Tom teaches percussion, music theory, and Music Media at Southwest Tennessee Community College and Jazz History at the University of Memphis. He is endorsed by Jim Pettit and the Memphis Drum Shop.