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Varner, Tom

Varner, Tom

Varner, Tom, jazz French hornist, composer; b. Morris Plains, N.J., June 17,1957. He took a degree from the New England Cons. (B.Mus. 1979), studying with Peter Gordon, Thomas Newell, Jaki Byard, George Russell, and Ran Blake. He also studied privately with Julius Watkins and Dave Liebman, and received an NE A Study Grant in 1981. He came to N.Y. in 1979 and has led groups there, featuring Lee Konitz, Bobby Previte, and Mark Feldman, among others. He has worked as a sideperson with the ensembles of Steve Lacy, John Zorn, David Liebman, Bobby Watson, LaMonte Young, Bobby Previte, Bob Mover, George Gruntz, Urs Blochlinger, Thomas Chapin, Mel Lewis Big Band, Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Dresser, and others, taking him on 25 European tours, two North American tours, and single tours of South America, USSR, and the Far East. He performed in the orchestra supporting Miles Davis directed by Quincy Jones at Montreux 1991. Varner received an NEA Performance Grant (1993), was a Down BeatPoll Winner (1983), and a Jazz Times Poll Winner (1990, 1993); he has lectured and performed at the Netherlands Horn Society (1983), Berklee Coll. of Music (1985), International Horn Society Annual Workshop at Towson State (1985), East Term. State (1987), SUNY Potsdam (1988), New England Brass Conference (1993), and W.Va. Univ. (1995). A highly original composer, Varner has also written music for numerous recording projects, including the soundtrack for the Paul Mones feature film Saints and Sinners (released spring 1995).


Tom Varner Quartet (1980); Motion / Stillness (1982); Jazz French Horn (1985); Long Night Big Day (1985); Covert Action (1987); Mystery of Compassion (1993); Martian Heartache (1997).

—Lewis Porter

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