Tom Millar is a London-based pianist, composer and bandleader. He was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in London. After reading Music at King’s College, Cambridge, he studied Jazz Piano and Composition for a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and with Django Bates in Bern, Switzerland.
His debut album with his quartet, Unnatural Events, was launched on September 20th 2017 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London. It came out on independent jazz label Spark!, and was recorded with funding from an Emerging Excellence Award (Help Musicians UK), the Jazz Services’ Recording Support Scheme, and a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The quartet plays Tom’s original music, inspired by places and people that are important to him. Tracks include the soulful ballad ‘Park Hill’; his setting of the proto-environmentalist poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘Inversnaid’; and rock-out grooves in ‘The Seafarer’, ‘Power Chord Thing’ and ‘Woad’. It features some of the most in-demand young jazz musicians in London: Misha Mullov-Abbado on bass, Alex Munk on guitar and Dave Storey on drums. Singer Alice Zawadzki features on two tracks on the album. To support the release, the quartet had a 20-date UK tour, with the support of the Arts Council England.
His music has since received extensive radio airplay, including BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM and London Jazz Radio.
Tom has performed at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Vortex, 606 Club, the London Jazz Festival, KKL Lucerne and Paul Klee Centre, Bern. He toured England and Wales with the Lyric Ensemble, performing the music of Michael Garrick; with Ollie Howell’s quintet; with Duncan Eagles’ quartet; and has recorded albums with the Tom Smith Septet and Andrew Linham Big Band. Further afield, he has played in the USA, Europe and Qatar, including a nationwide tour with Swiss blues star Philipp Fankhauser and venerable singer Margie Evans from Shreveport, Louisiana. He recently played for the opening residency in Quincy Jones’ first ever jazz club, Q’s bar, at the Palazzo Versace, Dubai, between November 2016 and January 2017, and in February 2017 with bassist Lisa Hoppe’s Ambush at the Jazzwerkstatt Festival, Bern.
Tom previously ran the monthly jam session and gig at the Green Note, Camden, as well as playing a monthly duo concert there with some of his favourite singers. He was also a member of Way Out West musicians’ collective, for which he created various different projects including a quintet with Gareth Lockrane and Fini Bearman, and a nonet playing his compositions and arrangements with Jim Hart, Tim Whitehead, Tony Woods and Laura Jurd, among others.
Selected press quotes:
“Millar’s writing is part of a lineage of polished modernism whose building blocks are to be found in the holy trinity of Herbie, Chick and Bill Evans, but whose additional masonry has pleasing echoes of their scions, namely Pat Metheny and Brian Blade. At its highpoint the performance reaches a poetic, pastoral grace.” Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise
‘beautifully articulated piano lines … Millar’s percussive composition ‘Rain in Rio’ [was] an audience favourite’ Jazzwise
‘Ambitious young band … exploring sophisticated original material’ Time Out, London
‘Tom’s music is full of strong melodies, quirky rhythmic hooks and unusual forms’ Londonjazznews.com
‘Finely crafted tunes and thoughtful improvisations’ Tim Whitehead
Find out more at Tom’s website: