Pittsburgh’s rockin' rhythm & jazz trio, The Red Beans & Rice Combo, will serve up a delightful musical gumbo with their debut recording, Let the Joy Begin!Read More
Tom devised original music to accompany Rick Sebak's program Meat Pittsburgh, which debuted on WQED TV this month.
Hear Rick Sebak's conversation with (vegetarian!) Jim Cunningham on WQED radio and highlights of Tom's compositions.
From Nebby: Rick Sebak's Tales of Greater Pittsburgh:
"The coincidental connection between Route 88 and 88 keys on a piano came to me one morning in the editing room. Then I knew I wanted piano music for the whole program. I guess I was ranting about it somewhat loudly because WQED’s popular TV cook Chris Fennimore happened to be walking by the editing room, overheard me, and he said, 'Call Tom Roberts. He’s a great piano player, and I think he’d like to do this. I’ll send you his info. He’d be perfect.'"
By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Among the many cool happenings in and around Nova Place — the old Allegheny Center Mall — a budding entity called The Bridge Music Hall aspires to find a niche.
The Bridge so far is a group of musicians, music lovers, business people and community activists who are planning a music scene the likes of which Pittsburgh hasn’t had for some time, if it ever did. If it comes off as expected next summer, The Bridge will be a 240-seat cabaret-style listening room nestled somewhere in the increasingly vibrant mixed-use village on the North Side.
By Kim Lyons / NEXTpittsburgh
In partnership with Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery, community organization Café con Leche is presenting a Latino Artist Residency as part of a larger effort to showcase and highlight Latinos in the Pittsburgh region.
The Resaca Tango Duo of Alejandro Pinzon and Tom Roberts, which plays live Argentine music for tango dancers, will be the March resident artists, in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
By Ruth Ann Dailey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
What’s that line about Pittsburgh being a big small town? Or a small big city?
Whichever you pick, it’s just the size to enable people whose lives might never intersect in a megalopolis to intersect here. This easy serendipity ignites some amazing creative fires.
You can witness one such conflagration Tuesday night at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library — a unique synthesis of story, painting and Jelly Roll Morton’s jazz — but the backstory makes the event even more delightful.
Imagine walking into a hotel, a restaurant, or a theater. What's that sound you hear? Music, recorded music emanating from speakers nested somewhere in the walls.
Now it's the year 1914. Yes, the music is still there, but instead is played live by a live orchestra. Thousands of arrangements, created specifically for these places, were composed from the turn of the century through the 1920s. But, with recorded music replacing living, breathing musicians in these spaces, where did the compositions go?
The California University of Pennsylvania.
Cal U's Special Collections
Deep within the Lewis L. Manderino Library, the Special Collections department has stacks of compositions, some still bound with the twine in which they arrived, and all still only accessible by card catalog.
However, I have seen the promised land and have been granted admission! I've known about this collection for several years and this past week have begun to scan the remarkable finds that are housed here. This collection consists of stock orchestrations that were used for hotel and theater orchestras in the years before canned muzak! Every venue, regardless of how large or small, required live music as the entertainment because there was no recorded music that you could blast over the sound system (since it hadn't been invented yet) while you dined, drank, and relaxed.
I have only begun to scratch the surface but have already uncovered rarities that have archivists throughout the world excited. Stay tuned for more in coming weeks!
This can be categorized under "How I spent my summer vacation."
Last month Tom played at the only local screening of Lily Keber’s award winning documentary Bayou Maharajah, which explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Carroll Booker III.
Sharing the stage was author Terrance Hayes, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow who won the National Book Award for Poetry for Lighthead (Penguin, 2010).
Check out highlights from both Roberts' and Hayes' performances on YouTube.