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Tomchess is a New York City based Multi-instrumentalist/Improviser/Composer making music professionally for 35 years. He plays Reeds, Western Flute, Arabic/Turkish Ney flute, Oud, and Guitar. He also has a history of using electronics /sampling/live-sampling/loops/fx. Having deeply studied the Near Eastern, and North African traditions his syncretic sound encompasses the tonal palette, rhythms, and forms of these traditional musics as well as focusing on the transcendent unity of all human culture while never losing sight of his American roots and the importance and freedom of improvisation. He has performed with Drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, recorded and performed with Butch Morris' Sheng Skyscraper, Recorded on guitar with Tenor players Dewey Redman, Pharoah Sanders, and Moroccan Sintarist Hassan Hakmoun. He has also led a guitar trio with Drummer Phil Haynes and bassist Drew Gress called Seven Times a Year. He has studied Middle/Near Eastern and West African musics, spending time in West Africa playing and performing. He has studied with Bassam Saba, Omer Erdogdular, Tidiani Bangoura, Abdul Aziz Tourè and Mohammed Camarra. He has also conducted workshops and master classes/lectures and performances in the NYC Public school system as well as New Jersey and Universities and institutions such as Asia Society NY, Johnson State College Vermont, Columbia University, SUNY Fredonia College, McDaniels College, Carrol Community College, Md, and Gettysburg College Pa. He has performed at Lincoln Center, The Turkish Embassy, The Pakistani Embassy, the Asian Society, The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Himalayan Museum of Art and The United Nations among countless other venues in NYC and the United States. He has also performed on NPR and PBS. He has performed in Africa, Canada, Holland, France, Switzerland, Turkey, India and Italy. He has played on Grammy Nominated recordings. He has been awarded grants from the Turkish American Society and The Maryland Council For The Arts. He was nominated for an 2012 Independent Music Award. He is an original member of The American Sufi Project.


He has been awarded grants from the Turkish American Society and The Maryland Council For The Arts.


Album Review
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“...drinking from deep clear sufi wells and ascending to dolphynian heights of sensorial grooving bliss.... new original compositions from ancient pages, many books of one writer, Tomchess.” -Charles blass, WKCR, Live Constructions.

"...a buoyant frontline attack, accelerated by sinuous time signatures via linearly designed unison phrasings....Here, the power of music offers a boost to one’s spiritual health, which is an insinuating notion that parallels the highly entertaining groove-focused aspects of this largely euphoric encounter." -Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz (review Tomchess & The Lovedogs-In The Beautiful Future)

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Footjumbo Records


Momentarily Endless

Foot Jumbo Records


In The Beautiful...

Foot Jumbo Records


Galaxy 13

From: Tomchess-Companions
By Tomchess


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