Winner of the 2017 Kenny Wheeler Prize, Tom was raised in a musical family and grew up surrounded by music, from Frank Sinatra to Louis Armstrong. He started the saxophone at the age of 9 but it wasn’t until a few years later that Will Osborne’s inspiring lessons led Tom to a specific interest in Jazz.
Tom joined the Junior Jazz Course at the Royal Academy of Music aged 16, before going on to gain a scholarship place on the Undergraduate Jazz Programme at the Academy in 2013 and earning a First Class Hons degree in 2017. During his time at the Academy, Tom has slowly become recognised as one of the most exciting young players emerging on the scene. Tom released his Kenny Wheeler Prize album BLOOMER on Edition Records back in 2018- https://tombarford.bandcamp.com/.
Tom also enjoys co-leading the exciting new band AuB- a quartet featuring Alex Hitchcock, James Maddren, and Ferg Ireland who released their debut album on Edition Records in May 2020.
Previous performances have included Ronnie Scott’s, Jimmy Glass Jazz Club (tour of Spain with Alberto Palau's Flight Mode), The Royal Albert Hall, (BBC Proms, Ronnie Scott's 60th Anniversary concert), tour of France with the Fabrice Tarel Quartet, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Kings Place, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival, The Vortex, and Pizza Express Soho among others.
Session work includes: "LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2" and "LEGO DC Villians"- game soundtracks for acclaimed composer Ian Livingstone, TV appearance with Tom Fletcher (Blue Peter), recording on the most recent Slowly Rolling Camera album Juniper (Edition Records release), and a live performance with The Temptations.
Aside from leading his own groups, Tom also takes pride in fulfilling a sideman role in such groups as The Tom Syson Group, Alberto Palau's Flight Mode, and the Olli Martin Quintet,
Other performance highlights include;
A short tour/college level workshops with Joel Harrison, Gerald Cleaver and Michael Janisch
The Guy Barker Big Band- a week long run of gigs at Ronnie Scott's featuring Billy Cobham
Perfomances with The London Super Sax Project- Featuring Nigel Hitchcock, Graeme Blevins, Alex Garnett and Sam Mane
A Three day residency at the Villars Big jazz festival, Switzerland
Luca Mendoza Quartet, performance at Ronnie Scott's
A UK tour with the Mark Trounson Quintet featuring the critically acclaimed Bill McHenry and Jeff Williams
A guest appearance with Iain Ballamy and Evan Parker at the Vortex Jazz Club.
Tom is proud to be a D'addario Woodwinds Artist
"Original composition ‘Doggerland’ unleashes Barford’s unyielding tone, filling the room as he thematically darts between bop and abstract language." JAZZWISE
"A strikingly large new British jazz talent arrives with saxophonist Tom Barford" WRITTEN IN MUSIC
"We are witnessing the birth of a new star in the jazz firmament." EVAN PARKER
“Bloomer is possessed with an overarching and consistent vibrancy which is clearly indicative of even greater things to come from this talented musician.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ (UK)
‘A wonderful young player. It’s so exciting to hear him grow!’ STAN SULZAMNN