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Tom Palmer received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Delaware and his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts. He studied drum set with Terry Silverlight, Frank Malabe and Kenwood Dennard at the Drummers Collective in New York City. He studied jazz piano with John Southard and Don Glanden. Mr. Palmer teaches in UD’s jazz program as director of Jazz Ensembles I and II and Jazz Chamber Ensembles, as well as drum set and piano. Mr. Palmer is on the faculty of the UD Community Music School (CMS) and is a member of the UD Faculty Jazz Ensemble.
Mr. Palmer has performed with many jazz artists including Ernie Watts, Robin Eubanks, Herb Ellis, Donald Byrd, Alan Vizzutti, Wayne Bergeron and local pianist and composer Don Glanden. He has appeared at the Kennedy Center, The Grand Opera House in Wilmington and in various area jazz festivals including Wilmington’s Jazz in the Village, the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival and the True Blue Jazz Festival. Mr. Palmer has also performed on many occasions with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). His recording credits include the BSO; Royal Palm Steel Band; Paul Scherer; Don Glanden’s CD featuring Ernie Watts; Shawn Quaissanee; Craig Thomas; The Whitney Project; and Ellen Lebowitz’s CDs Invitation to Yesterdays and Smokin’ Aloud.
Mr. Palmer stays busy composing and arranging, as well as performing on drum set and piano with many of the area’s jazz groups. In addition to his own instrumental trio, he leads a quartet with his wife, vocalist Ellen Lebowitz. As a teacher, Mr. Palmer shares his talents with jazz students at many levels. He coordinates the annual UD Jazz Festival, which gives middle- and high-school-level bands the opportunity to perform in a non-competitive, adjudicated event, and every summer he teaches at the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency in Wilmington, DE. Mr. Palmer is a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education’s Delaware chapter and a current member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN). He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for area jazz festivals.
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