Tom Muellner




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Tom Muellner

Tom Muellner is a highly respected Chicago born jazz pianist and composer. He has received critical acclaim from aficionados and statesmen throughout the jazz world for his piano acumen and creativity. He has an uncanny understanding of harmonic movement, improvisation and musical interplay.

Playboy magazine critic Neil Tesser cites Tom Muellner as “a pianist and tunesmith of stellar magnitude.” Mike Drew of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal says, “Like the late keyboard master Bill Evans, he finds classic gems, and creates lyrical variations.” And this from Hammond organ master Joey DeFrancesco, “He swings, grooves, is soulful, and in total command of his instrument, plus I love him, he’s one of my favorites!”

Tom Muellner venues

As a bandleader, Tom Muellner has performed for large concert venues as well as many prestigious jazz clubs. He performs at many other prestigious Chicago area clubs such as the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, Andy’s, Green Dolphin Street, Pete Millers and Pops, as well as many fine Chicago hotels.

He was a mainstay at the Drake Hotel for 4 years. Tom Muellner plays everything from solo piano to big bands, but his preference has always been trio or quartet. He has also performed music for stage productions, including the downtown Chicago theater district. He also freelances with many top musicians and plays piano for private occasions, and has even performed for royalty, entertaining members of British Parliament at a private affair.

This artist comes from a home enriched with good music. His father and brother are also professional musicians. Tom Muellner started playing gigs at an early age. Although he has played drums, guitar, bass and organ, his natural preference was always the piano. He grew up hearing many great jazz recordings, but especially related to the unique jazz piano artistry of Erroll Garner and his “swinging happy piano”. He is forever indebted to Erroll for giving him the inspiration to focus on jazz piano at an early age, but came to an important milestone in his early twenties by discovering the genius of the late pianist Bill Evans.

“I think I was drawn to Bill by osmosis,” he reflects, surmising that Evans has forever changed the way jazz piano is played. That important discovery led him to the deeper possibilities of music. "When I finally heard the music, I realized that jazz was larger than music. It’s great art, and a philosophy with spiritual ramifications," Tom Muellner says. In addition, he hails Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane as monumental influences. His favorite pianists include Art Tatum, Hank Jones, Bud Powell, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner, Monty Alexander, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Steve Kuhn, Denny Zeitlin, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, and his close friend John Campbell. He also loves the brilliant playing of his dear friend, Hammond organ master Joey DeFrancesco.

Tom Muellner CD

His nationally distributed CD was recorded in 1998 with bassist David Marr and drummer Tim Davis. His good friend Art Davis also plays flugelhorn and trumpet on four tracks. This CD includes reworked standards and original compositions. Also, Tom Muellner has recently acted as pianist and arranger for a top notch Chicago all-star recording for the very talented vocalist Arlene Bardelle, to be released in the near future.

Tom Muellner has performed with many “world class” jazz stars such as Ira Sullivan, Eddie Daniels, Marvin Stamm, Bobby Ojeda, John Fedchock, Eric Schneider, Mark Colby, Richie Cole, Von Freeman, Ron Dewar, Mike Smith, Redd Holt (of Ramsey Lewis fame), Don Osborne (of Mel Torme fame) and the late Barrett Deems (of Louis Armstrong fame), to name just a few. He also works with many great vocalists such as Arlene Bardelle, Spider Saloff, Hinda Hoffman, Libby York and Colleen McNabb. In addition, he has acted as musical director on a few occasions for well-known comedians David Bremmer and Tom Dreesen.

Tom Muellner continues to dazzle audiences with his unique brand of swinging lyrical jazz piano. He received rave reviews performing with his trio at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee in May 2004. Indeed, acclaim for the talent, taste and splendid style of this consummate professional is as resonant as the rich chords and silky lines with which he creates his personal musical magic.

Related Listings

Country United States
City Chicago
State/Province Illinois
Performer Type Musical Act

10 responses to “Tom Muellner”

  1. Alex says:

    “Thank you so much for your great work at our wedding. We were thrilled with your playing and professionalism. It was exactly the tasteful, celebratory feel we were going for (and of course I had no doubt about your chops!) I’m only sorry that I wasn’t able to spend more time listening to you guys!” – Alex

  2. Joey says:

    “[His] swings, grooves, is soulful, and in total command of his instrument, plus I love him, he’s one of my favorites!” – Joey DeFrancesco, internationally acclaimed jazz organ master

  3. Neil says:

    “a pianist and tunesmith of stellar magnitude.” – Neil Tesser, Playboy magazine critic

  4. Charisse says:

    “I always enter into the task of selecting musicians for our annual meeting of physicians with trepidation. Will these otherwise strangers show up? How will they look? What will they sound like? Will they follow my instructions for the event? [This artist] and his musicians overcame my every negative fantasy and more than met my expectations by playing beautiful processional and dinner dance selections for our event! Thank you so much.” – Charisse Jimenez, ACPE (American College of Physician Executives)

  5. Laura says:

    “For several years, [this artist] has provided the music for our alumni reunion dinner and reception. He is wonderful to work with and his music is always a hit with our guests of all ages.” – Laura S. Jackson, Senior Director of Alumnae/i Relations, Dominican University

  6. Chicago Magazine says:

    “His name may not ring a bell among casual listeners, but those who value honest musical expression or a well-thought-out improvisation will find much to recommend in this solo recital by an unjustly under-the-radar local piano talent.” – Chicago Magazine, January 2008

  7. Mike says:

    “Like the late keyboard master Bill Evans, [this artist] finds classic gems, and creates lyrical variations.” –Mike Drew, Milwaukee Sentinel Journal

  8. Joe and Chris says:

    “Everyone enjoyed your trio. Your musicality, professionalism, and selection of tunes was second to none. We were so fortunate to have each of you at our special event. Musically yours…” – Joe and Chris Rojek

  9. Katie says:

    “You always get the event started so perfectly. (Those who are at the top of their game always make it look easy.) We look forward to working with you in the future. It doesn’t get any better than you!” – Katie Storer, Solo Piano for Resurrection Hospital Medical Staff Dinner Party

  10. Anton Valukas says:

    “[This artist] performed for our family get together this past Christmas Eve and was outstanding. We are delighted with his sophistication, warmth and skills. I highly recommend him for your listening pleasure.” – Anton R. Valukas, Jenner & Block LLP (former US attorney)

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