Almost from the outset, Tom Teasley has brought percussion up from the background, profoundly demonstrating its strength in solo performance. He is "a percussionist in the widest and most exuberant sense" says the Washington Post, calling his contribution to D.C.'s Contemporary Music Forum "the evening's dazzler." He's a "creative bonanza," claims Bruce Wittet in Modern Drummer Magazine; "... give Tom a bass drum, a snare drum and a djembe and he'll give you part Stravinsky, part Art Blakey."
Tom Teasley is a multi-dimensional performer and composer, crossing the boundaries of solo performance through the use of instruments from the world over, and cross-pollinating techniques from diverse traditions, and combining ancient percussion with digital technology.
As a cultural envoy, Teasley has traveled throughout the Middle East on behalf of the US State Department, giving historic performances in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, and Iraq in collaboration with indigenous musicians as well as in solo concerts and educational programs. He also shares his engaging experiences and global travels as musical and cultural ambassador in his keynote speaking engagements. He is the recipient of three Fulbright-Hayes Awards. He has also toured extensively, performing at world music and percussion festivals across the US, Europe, South America, New Zealand and Samoa.
Taking his music beyond the concert arena, Teasley has also performed with individual visual artists, such as performance artist Nick Cave, and with art galleries, including Washington, DC's Kreeger Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia, and the Philadelphia Textile Museum. Tom has began setting the abstract film of Dadaist master Hans Richter and others to his original music and superimposing the images of his performances into the art. He's equally renowned as a theatrical composer, sound designer and performer, and his work has earned him two Helen Hayes Awards (and a third nomination) for outstanding sound design for productions at several Washington, DC, theaters, including the Constellation Theatre and the Folger Theatre. Tom is the 2012 WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Award) winner for "Best World Music Instrumentalist". In addition, he has performed with the National Symphony as both a composer and a soloist, and has been an artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at the Levine School of Music.
A dedicated educator, Teasley continues to explore new instruments and playing techniques, and to share his newfound experience in various workshops and clinics. PASIC (the Percussion Arts Society International Convention) broke with tradition to feature his presentations three times at the world's largest gathering of percussionists. He has also been a clinician/artist-in-residence at Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and University of Maryland, among others. His innovative fusion of jazz, world and western classical music has earned him many endorsements. Teasley is proud to be supported by The Virginia Commission for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.