Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts is a leading exponent of early jazz piano. He's played everywhere from New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Tonight Show to the major jazz clubs in the French Quarter.


Hot World Chamber Music


Hot World Chamber Music


Expressive clarinet and virtuosic piano in a unique and sophisticated blend of swing and early jazz, klezmer, Argentinian tango, valse musette, rembetika, gypsy, gospel, and classical. 

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The German clarinetist Susanne Ortner-Roberts and the American pianist Tom Roberts met 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while performing. Subsequently they developed a concert repertoire that can only be described as "Hot World Chamber Music“.

Hot ... was the word used to describe hard swinging jazz music of the twenties and thirties, as opposed to the sweet bands who gained in popularity during the Depression. This was exciting music that inspired movement, from the tapping of toes to extravagant exploits on the dance floor. The Ortner-Roberts Duo feature many superlative examples of Hot Music, one of the highlights being the music of the Benny Goodman Trio, painstakingly recreated note for note from the original recordings. Additionally they perform the music of Benny's chief rival, Artie Shaw, and the sizzling sounds of the Creole clarinetists of New Orleans. From the piano bench comes scorching stomps from Jelly Roll Morton, and the refined Mozartean heat of Teddy Wilson. They also spice up many arrangements by incorporating the funky New Orleanspiano stylings of James Booker and Progfessor Longhair.

World … The Ortner–Roberts Duo explore the rich traditions of world music, and discover little known treasures, occasionally combining the results of their discoveries into an eclectic musical gumbo. Calypso from Trinidad, Tango from Argentina, Greek Rembetika, French Valse Musette, Klezmer from Eastern Europe, Flamenco from Spain, Beguine from Martinique, Turkish music, and the passionate music of the Gypsies from India to Spain. And the unexpected places where the worlds collide.

Chamber Music... The concert is presented in the manner of a chamber concert with a difference, lively comedic banter, and anecdotes concerning the original composers and performers. The Ortner-Roberts Duo also create the illusion of more than two instruments and other instruments. By blending and fusing genres, and incorporating classical themes and techniques, they succeed in the balancing of stretching between tradition and modernity.

©2019 Tom Roberts