Bio

Tom Pirozzoli

guitarist  singer-songwriter  artist

…music and art are paths to understanding inner things – a way to realize the positive aspects of ourselves and make us know that clear thing inside.

photo of Tom's guitar standing uprightIt’s early morning cold – 18°. Snowshoes crunch through frozen field grass. Sun gives way to dappled forest light. Another day begins….

It’s warm back at Tom’s art-filled studio. Paints mingle with memories from past journeys: a Tibetan bowl, Peruvian weavings, prayer flags. Hours at the easel await. Tom’s guitar leans against an old, milky blue cupboard. Who was the 19th century artisan who crafted this timeworn piece? Would he love the music that is about to come?

The joy, discoveries and challenges of music, art, and travel have guided Tom’s rich life to a quiet place beneath Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire. His musical path has been long – a 40 year career filled with eight studio albums, numerous songwriting credits, and collaborations with other musicians such as Willy Porter and David Wilcox.

"Desert Train" (from Ashtia & the Owl, 1985) was written on a four-stringed Nepalese 'banjo' during a 24-hour train ride across Rajasthan's Thar desert to Jaisalmer, India.

“Desert Train” (from Ashtia & the Owl, 1985) was written on a four-stringed Nepalese ‘banjo’ during a 24-hour train ride across Rajasthan’s Thar desert to Jaisalmer, India.

Back in the beginning, as a 19 year-old self-taught guitarist, Tom busked on street corners, performed at anti-war rallies, eventually finding his way into the New England coffeehouse scene.

It was the sense of endless possibility and adventure of the 1970s that lead to travels – first through Europe and South America, then to India and Southeast Asia.

Later journeys brought Tom to China and Tibet. Encounters with an array of distant people, cultures and ideas both inspired and enriched Tom’s music and lyrics.

Tom Pirozzoli in Tibet

“Tibet” (Travels 1989) came into being while descending the steps of a Lhasa monastery. Nearby, a group of Tibetan women sang as they worked. Using a Walkman, Tom recorded their song, later using it as an opening chant. The singing weaves its way throughout the song as a haunting refrain.

Playing guitar and electric violin in the early 1980s while writing and performing original music, Tom embarked on a solo career. His self-titled first disc, Tom Pirozzoli, released in 1983, was followed by Ashiata and the Owl (1985) and Eyes and Footprints (1987). It was during this time that Tom’s music was included on Fast Folk Music recordings which are now part of the Smithsonian’s collection.

Tom was named a winner in MUSICIAN magazine’s 1988 Best Unsigned Band Contest, resulting in the national release of “On The Railroad” by Warner Bros. Records. The following year Tom recorded Travels which was picked up by INVASION Records and nationally released, landing in the AAA Charts top 40 albums for 13 weeks.

Throughout the ‘90s Tom toured extensively — opening for artists such as Greg Brown, Jesse Winchester, and Doc Watson. At the same time, Tom began performing and collaborating with Milwaukee-based guitarist Willy Porter, co-writing many songs that have been featured on Porter’s albums, including “Try to Forget” on Willy’s 2015 release, Human Kindness.

Conversation Without Words by Putnam & PirozzoliOver the past ten years, Tom has composed instrumental music for the Putnam-Pirozzoli guitar duo. He and Gerry perform a unique combination of jazz, classical and pop which may be heard on their two releases.

In his most recent venture, Tom has paired up with highly accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kit Creeger.

"Tea Time for the Gardner," oil painting by Tom Pirozzoli

Tea Time for the Gardner. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 by Tom Pirozzoli.

When Tom isn’t on stage or working on new music he can be found composing at the easel. A highly accomplished painter in both watercolors and oils, Tom’s work can be found in galleries in New Hampshire and Vermont and at pirozzoli.com/.

Pirozzoli CD artwork

Friends John Gorka and LJ Booth have used Tom’s artwork to grace their album covers.

Tom has shared 40 years of life with Kate. They enjoy a happy marriage, living an art- and music-filled country life amidst gardens, antiques, and love.

“Pirozzoli offers a vision of the exotic places he visits and straight from the heat sentiment through his songs… a low enchanting voice and a prolific knack for writing lyrics.” – NH Seacoast