Percussionist Tom McGrath resided for 25 years in New York City, where he performed in a variety of musical settings, from theatrical stages, to premier music clubs. Since the Summer of 2005, he has taken up residence in Central New York State. Tom continues to have a busy performance schedule, playing with some of Central New York's finest including Monk Rowe, John Hutson, Al Nathan, Tom Townsley, Big D and Tasty Cafe, Dr. Pickle, Morris Tarbell, Mitchell Player, Don Goodness and the Do Good Big Band, The Nick Sterio Big Band, The Mario DeSantis Big Band and others.

Tom's latest CD, "Ten Shades of Blue," was released in December, 2003. "Pictures at the Family House," his first CD, was released in September, 1999.

 

As a free-lance percussionist, Tom has performed the music of John Cage, Lou Harrison, and other composers at the Bang on a Can and A Day of Percussion music festivals in New York City. He has toured nationally and internationally with the Manhattan Ballet Company, the Mimi Garrard Dance Company, and the David Parker Dancers, and he has also performed in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

         Tom has performed both live and/or in the studio with numerous singer/songwriters or instrumentalists including the folk duo Minus Ted, Walter Egan, Carmin Turco, Cindy Bullens, McWray, David McGrath, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (see pics) and the graceful and kind, Odetta. Other talented singer songwriters include, Grant King, Andy Monroe, Steven Keene, and Dave Hall. Guitarists, Carlos Alomar, Michael Ross, Dan Wray and rappers Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaataa. . He has also played on jingles for advertising firms J. Walter Thompson and Fearless Music. In 1984, he appeared as a musician in the CBS movie "Svengali" starring Jodi Foster and Peter O'Toole.

In addition, Tom has produced or co-produced the recordings of numerous songwriters, singers, and instrumentalists including Sandy Smyth; McWray; Minus Ted; David McGrath; Carmin Turco; mandolinist/composer Terry Pender; the cello/percussion duo Cellovision; and vocalists Elaine St. George, Patrick Arena, Barbara Lowin and Leslie Hollis.

In 1997 Tom was commissioned by the Mimi Garrard Dance Company to compose music for two dance works entitled "Reflections on an Ecuadorian Jungle" and "Animal Spirit." Both pieces premiered that year in New York City. A third dance work, "Tactile," was added to this suite and performed at The Kitchen in New York in June, 2000. He also wrote incidental music for the film short "Casting Call" by Andy Hudson. In October, 2008 Tom was one of three composers to contribute music to the Rich-Heape film release, "Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School".

From 1988 to the Spring of 2005, Tom owned and operated Tom Tom Recording Studio in New York. During this time, he recorded with such artists as violinist Shankar; composer John Cage; drummers Bernard Purdie, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Ginger Baker and Buddy Williams; guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli; pianists Louis St. Louis, Jeremy Wall and Barry Levitt songwriter/vocalist Art Garfunkel and son James; and bassist Mark Egan.