Sunday February 8, 2015 - With Chicago clarinet master James Falzone at "The Racer Session," Café Racer, 8:00 pm

Thursday February 26, 2015-at the Good Shepherd Chapel Space, Wayward Music Series: Tom Varner -- Brass Ensemble Meditations and Improvisations in Collaboration with Members of the Seattle Phonographers Union.

Friday and Saturday March 13 and 14, 2015 - leading the Cornish Creative Ensemble at the Seattle Jazz Experience Festival, and enjoying the festival itself.

Friday April 1, 2015, leading the Tom Varner Quartet at the Jazz Station, Eugene Oregon, as part of the International Horn Society NW USA Symposium.


January 4, 2010, 8:00pm, Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School, 12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125

January 7, 2010, 8:00pm, Tom Varner Quartet, "Looking at Kenny Dorham," Tulas, 2214 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121-2017

January 22, 2010, Clinic/Concert, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way Ellensburg, WA 98926

February 1, 2010, 8:00pm, Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School, 12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125

February 28, 2010, WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra, co-led by Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb), ToST, 513 N. 36th St. #E, Seattle, WA 98103

March 1, 2010, 8:00pm, Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School, 12510 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125

March 3, 2010, 7:30pm, Steve Griggs Ensemble, Cancao Carioco: Song from Rio, Good Shepherd Chapel, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

March 6, 2010, Butch Morris "14 Improvisers Conduction Project" w. Horvitz, Campbell, Kikuchi, others, Cornish College of the Arts, PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98102

April 11, 2010, 3:00pm Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, music from "Birth of the Cool," Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033

April 17, 2010, 5:30pm Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, music from "Birth of the Cool," Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle, WA 98101

April 24-25, 2010, Workshops/performances at the NW Horn Workshop, U of Oregon, Eugene OR

May 30, 8:00 pm, Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), ToST, Freemont, Seattle

June 27, 8:00 pm, Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), ToST, Freemont, Seattle

July 24, 8:00pm, Tom Varner/David Marriot/Thomas Marriot: "The Wayne'ing Brass: 3 Brass Plus Rhythm," new looks at the music of Wayne Shorter, Tulas, 2214 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121-2017

July 25, 8:00 pm, Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), ToST, Freemont, Seattle

August 7, 8:00 pm, Tom Varner Quintet, featuring Eric Barber and Byron Vannoy, New Works and Summer Meditations, Good Shepherd Chapel, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

August 29, 8:00 pm, Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), ToST, Freemont, Seattle

November 20, 2010, New York Composers Orchestra, Guimares Festival, Portugal

April 17, 2011, New York Composers Orchestra, Milano, Italy

Gigs from the recent and increasingly distant past:


Tom Varner Quintet, w. Eric Barber, Jesse Canterbury, Phil Sparks, and Byron Vannoy, Seattle, Good Shepherd Chapel , March 21

WACO, Seattle City Hall, noon, April 2

Andrew Boscardin Ensemble, "The Mix," Seattle, April 18

WACO, ToST, Seattle, April 26

Andrew Boscardin, Good Shepherd Chapel, Seattle, May 2

Jim Knapp, Seattle Drum School, May 4

WACO, ToST, Seattle, May 31

Jim Knapp, Seattle Drum School, June 1

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Stan Kenton Program, June 20

WACO, "Sounds Outside" Festival, Seattle, July 25

Josh Sinton's "Ideal Bread" Steve Lacy Music Quartet-Egans, Ballard,

Seattle, August 13

Jim Knapp Orchestra , Seattle Drum School, Sept. 7

Julius Watkins Jazz French Horn Festival, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, Oct 3 Workshops from 12:30 pm, evening concert at 8:00

WACO (Washington Composers Orchestra, co-led by Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb) at "ToST" , Fremont, Seattle, Sept. 27,

WACO at Earshot Jazz Festival, Good Shepherd Chapel, Oct 27

Tom Varner Tentet at Earshot Jazz Festival, Good Shepherd Chapel, Oct 29

Jim Knapp Orchestra, Earshot Jazz Festival, Cornish College, Poncho Hall, Oct 31

Steve Griggs, "Villa-Lobos Project" Good Shepherd Chapel, Nov 19

Jim Knapp Orchestra, Dec 7, Seattle Drum School

Looking back at 2008:

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 5:30 p.m., Seattle Art Museum, 1st Ave and Union St. Free with museum admission. All ages.

SAM Art of Jazz Concert Series: Tom Varner Tentet: world premiere of Tom Varner's Heaven and Hell, a new work for tentet.

With: Jesse Canterbury, clarinet, Saul Cline, soprano sax, Mark Taylor, alto sax, Eric Barber, tenor sax, Jim DeJoie, baritone sax, Russ Johnson , trumpet, Tom Varner, French horn, Chris Stover, Trombone, Phil Sparks, bass, and Byron Vannoy, drums.

April 2008, Tom Varner wrote:

Dear friends, FINALLY, my tentet piece that I've been working on and obsessing about for over 5 years now, will be premiered at 5:30 p.m. at SAM, on Thursday April 10. (Part of the Earshot monthly series there.) The work was begun in earnest at a wonderful 3-week stay at the MacDowell Arts Colony in winter 2003, and I've been working on it ever since. (I was in the same snow-covered cabin where Leonard Bernstein worked on his "Mass," as well as fellow composers Meredith Monk, Fred Hersch, Bobby Previte, and Aaron Copland).

The title of this 13-part cd-length piece is "Heaven and Hell" --as in the "heaven" of being in the moment with my two kids, especially enjoying my time with them here in Seattle, and the "hell" of our planet's last 6 ½ years-especially the hell of parents (and kids) of soldiers, whether in Iraq or elsewhere. The older we get, life seems have more and more of that "combo platter," and this piece is a kind of musical reflection on that duality. The piece is also a look back the "extreme emotional state juxtaposition" of being NY'ers on 9/11/01, while preparing to go to Hanoi in nine days to adopt our beautiful son, Jack. (In the end, it all worked out, and we adopted our daughter Hope in '04, and having moved to Seattle in '05, here we are, a Seattle family now.)

Musically, "Heaven and Hell" began as an idea to "double" my working quintet into a tentet as a way to add more timbres and complex vertical harmonies, reflecting my love of Messaien, middle-Miles, and Mingus. It has evolved to a wind octet plus bass and drums-a transparent chamber group that can breathe together, improvise, play jazz and new music, and NOT just be a "small big band," although I hope the group can continue as a working tentet that can play more Varner, Monk, Mingus, Lacy, and Ellington. The SAM concert will feature ace NYC trumpeter Russ Johnson, and the best of Seattle's jazzers and improvisers. We will record the work the following week, with the partial help of the Jack Straw Foundation, and it is planned for an OmniTone release.

Sunday and Monday, April 13 & 14: recording project for Heaven and Hell, Jack Straw Foundation, Seattle, for OmniTone

Thursday May 22: Mid-day gig with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra

May 25-31: Composing new works for quintet, at Centrum Arts Colony, Pt. Townsend, WA

Monday, June 2: Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School

Tuesday, June 3: Workshops and concert for horn students, jazz students, and the public, University of Oregon, Eugene. More info:

Friday, June 20: Andrew Boscardin Ensemble, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Looking back at 2007:

March 11-14: Workshops with horn students and concert with big band at the Royal Netherlands Conservatory of Music in Rotterdam, Holland. Much thanks to Martin Van de Merve, hornist and teacher, for all the organizing.

April 22, Sunday: with the Seattle Jazz Repertory Orchestra, playing the music of "Birth of the Cool." North Bend, WA, 3:00 pm.

May 3-May 10--Swiss Tour with "Object Trouves," a wonderful group of top Swiss improvisers, with Tom's old friends Gabriela Friedli, composer and pianist, Jan Schlegel, bass guitar, Co Streiff, alto/soprano sax, and Dieter Ulrich, drums. Tom wrote the liner notes for the group's new CD, "Fragile," now out on the Intakt label. ( www.intaktrec.rec ) Gabriela plays on Tom's "The Swiss Duos" as well. Brugg, Basel, Langenthal, Kusnacht, Lucerne, Schaffhousen

May 19, Saturday, Seattle: Eric Barber and Tom Varner: Two Solo Sets, 8:00 p.m. CHAPEL PERFORMANCE SPACE Located at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle, WA

"A few years ago, I played an improvised unaccompanied solo set for my fellow artists at the Blue Mountain Center, a wonderful artist colony up in New York's Adirondack Mountains, in an old seaplane hangar on the shore of a beautiful lake. As the sun set and I played with the natural echoes of the space, we had a few magical moments. I hope to revisit that evening, in a new way, on May 19 at the beautiful chapel space at Wallingford's Good Shepherd Center. This time, I'll also be thinking more of another great solo artist, my late friend and mentor Steve Lacy, who brought me to Seattle in 1993 in his "Vespers" project. Perhaps a bit of Sonny Rollins will sneak in too!" --TV

June 28th, Thursday: with the Francois Houle Tentet, Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

June 29th, Friday: workshop at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

June 29th, Friday, Tom Varner/Francois Houle Quartet, "New Looks at Lacy, and Monk too" -Vancouver International Jazz Festival

September 3, with Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School

October 1, with Jim Knapp Orchestra, Seattle Drum School

October 5, with Greg Sinibaldi's "Mobiles" large ensemble project, Good Shephard Center, Wallingford, Seattle

October 11, Thursday, Tom Varner Quartet, with Bill Anschell, Phil Sparks, and Byron Vannoy, Tula's, A new look at Rodgers & Hart, Hoagy Carmichael, and Thelonious Monk.

October 16 & 17, with the Vern Sielert Dektet, University of Idaho, Moscow ID

November 1, Thursday, with the Vern Sielert Dektet, Seattle Jazz Showcase, Seattle Drum School

November 9, Vienna Austria, with the Bob Zieff Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Wiener Musik Galerie Festival, 9:00 pm

November 10, Vienna Austria, with the Franz Koglmann Pipetet, Wiener Musik Galerie Festival, 9:00 pm, for more info: (25 Year Celebration---Wiener Musik Galerie--ATYPICAL JAZZ--"structured emotions" )

December 3, Jim Knapp Orchestra , Seattle Drum School,

Looking back at 2006:

Wednesday, January 4: with the Vern Sielert Dektet at Tulas, Seattle

Monday, January 9, with the Jim Knapp Orchestra, at the Seattle Drum School,

Friday, February 10, with the Seattle Jazz Repertory Orchestra, The Seasons, Yakima, WA (Music from "Birth of the Cool")

Friday, February 24, with the "University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point Faculty Jazz Quartet," International Horn Society Midwest Regional Workshop, Stevens Point, WI

Monday, February 27, with the Jim Knapp Orchestra, Meany Hall, University of Washington, Seattle

Saturday, March 11, with the Jamie Baum Septet at the Braga Jazz Festival, Braga, Portugal

Tuesday, March 14, with the Jamie Baum Septet, Terassa Jazz Festival, Spain

Saturday, March 25, with the Jim Knapp Orchestra, the Seasons, Yakima WA

Thursday November 16, 2006, with the "Francois Houle Clarinet Plus Three Brass Sextet," in Vancouver, B.C., for more info go to

Wednesday, November 1, 2006, 8:00 p.m. Tom Varner New Seattle Quintet, featuring Mark Taylor and Eric Barber, saxes, Phil Sparks, bass, and Reade Whitwell, drums.
Tula's Jazz Club, 2214 2nd Ave (at Bell), Seattle. $12. This is part of Seattle's wonderful Earshot Jazz Festival,

Saturday, October 21, 2006, midnight, Pacific time: (3:00 a.m. NY time Oct. 22) Tom Varner Chamber Trio (Eric Barber, saxophones, Greg Campbell, drums and French horn)
with special guest pianist Gust Burns - "Sonarchy Radio" broadcast on KEXP, 90.3 FM. Streaming at , and podcast available the next day: go to programs-Sonarchy.
This is a one-hour, mostly "free" session, recorded at the Jack Straw Foundation, with three of Seattle's best improvisers.

August 10, Thursday----at Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St., Volunteer Park, Seattle: The "Tom Varner Chamber Trio," featuring Eric Barber, saxophones, Greg Campbell, drums, with special guest Jesse Canterbury, clarinet.

July 30, Sunday---at Tula's, 2214 Second Ave., Seattle Tom Varner Quintet, featuring Mark Taylor, alto sax, Hans Teuber, tenor sax, Phil Sparks, bass, and Reade Whitwell, drums.

Looking way back at 2004:

January 24-Concert/workshops at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA

January 26-Concert/workshops at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

February 14-18-on tour in Austria and Germany with the Jim McNeely Tentet . For more info:

September 20-27, 2004 - In Vienna with Franz Koglmann's "Let's Make Love" concert and Between the Lines recording project, with Tony Coe and Peter Herbert.

November 11, 2003 - With the Jamie Baum Septet, celebrating Jamie's new CD on the OmniTone label, at Sweet Rhythm (formerly Sweet Basil, NYC)

Friday, December 17: Tom Varner Quintet at the Cornelia Street Café , NYC, and, Saturday, December 18: Tom Varner Quintet at the Slought Foundation Gallery, Philadelphia
These two evenings featured premieres of two extended suites, created with generous support from Chamber Music America's New Works: Creation and Presentation Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Tom Varner, composer and French horn
Steve Wilson, alto saxophone
Tony Malaby, tenor saxophone
Cameron Brown, bass
Tom Rainey, drums

And, looking way back at 2003:

March 21 and 22-with the Mingus Orchestra in western France

June 7-at the International Horn Society Convention in Bloomington, Indiana

June 23-At Yoshi's in Oakland CA, with the Graham Connah Sextet, at the Eric Dolphy Memorial Festival

August 12-with TILT Brass Ensemble, featuring Dave Ballou, Russ Johnson, and Marcus Rojas, at the Bowery Poetry club, NYC

October 1-with the Jamie Baum Septet at Makor, NYC

October 16-with the Peter Scharli Special Sextet featuring Glenn Ferris and Tom Varner, concert for the grand opening of the new Aarou Art Museum, Aarau, Switzerland

October 26-with Tilt Brass Ensemble, Joe's Pub, Public Theatre, NYC

November 21-25, 2003 Long ago, it was Tom Varner week in Washington State!

November 21, Tom was the featured guest artist with the Pacific Lutheran University Jazz Ensemble.

November 22, Tom Varner, horn, Rob Blakeslee, trumpet, Michael Bisio, bass, Greg Cambell, drums Pole Star Music Gallery, Seattle

Sunday, November 23, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, Tom Varner with the CWU Jazz Band.

November 24, Tom Varner, horn., Rob Blakeslee, trumpet., Michael Bisio, bass, Greg Cambell, drums, Patti Summers Jazz Club, Seattle