Tom is a teacher, composer and author based in Lewisham, South East London. He lives next to a little river, in the haunted basement of an old Victorian school.

Tom has Dystonia, a neurological condition that makes it hard to make regular movements. He is relearning how to play the instruments he loves. He likes music, flowers, birds, books and boxing.

  • A Life In Music

    After graduating with a master’s degree in 2012, Tom began to develop a career as a highly regarded jazz saxophonist, recording artist and teacher. Over the following six years, he performed in more than twenty countries, recorded with and composed music for multiple Grammy-winning artists, and released two critically acclaimed jazz albums.

  • Sudden Shift

    In 2018, Tom developed Dystonia, a rare neurological condition which affects the left side of his body. This mysterious and poorly understood condition immediately ended his performance career.

    Unsure of the way ahead, Tom was confronted with the overwhelming reality of relearning normal movement function. He wanted to play saxophone, but that seemed like an impossible mountain to climb. How could he do that when he couldn't even perform day-to-day activites unassisted? He began to relearn the instruments he loved, knowing that less than 1% of dystonia patients recover normal movement function. He had an artist's mind forced into a beginner's body.

    Some people told him it was best to quit, to 'move on,' just let it go. There were lots of ups and downs. He had to redefine his relationship with 'success.' It wasn't easy.

  • A Strange Gift

    The years passed, and as his general health improved, Tom began to teach more and more. He began to realise that getting dystonia had given him a unique perspective on the challenges of learning an instrument.

    Even though he couldn't play himself, through his own efforts to understand and rehabilitate his dystonia, he had a better understanding of how the human body relates to a musical instrument. He learned he could teach by example through his own physical limitations, showing students that with a positive mindset, steady work ethic and ‘can-do’ attitude, anything is possible!

  • It Was A Sound

    In 2023, after five years battling Dystonia, Tom suffered the largest setback in his recovery since the beginning of the illness. Once again trapped at home, he was determined to make something happen, he used the time to start writing music. He had dreamed of writing a music for student musicians that connected his experiences as a touring musician with his time spent as a teacher, but due to his busy teaching schedule, he'd never gotten around to it.

    Thanks to Dystonia, now he did.

    Over the next year, he composed and wrote 'It Was A Sound,' a book of music and stories about the life and playing style of the great saxophonist, Johnny Hodges.

    Now in 2024, Tom continues to teach as well as writing his Jazz Tribute series for Clifton Edition books.