June 2011 Update

Posted on 26 June 2011 | No responses

I had a great time playing in the band for Working, which closed earlier this month. I’ve been playing a rock gig with Tom Logan, the guitarist from Working, on Fridays at Indian Lakes Resort. Lots of fun.

I’ll be playing at the TASTE OF CHICAGO at the Petrillo Band Shell on Monday, June 27th (6 p.m.). It’s an annual event scheduled by Broadway in Chicago which features  casts and music from current and future musicals that BIC is presenting this season. Among the shows featured this year will be: West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Addams Famiy, Memphis, All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers, Come Fly with Me and more. In years past, we’ve had crowds of over 10,000 people.  Come on out. It’s a smokin’ band and should be really fun.

I was fortunate enough to be re-elected to a sixth term as President of the Theater Musicians Association-Chicago Area Chapter earlier this month.  It’s quite an honor and I look forward to working again another year with a great Executive Board consisting of Leo Murphy (VP), Heather Boehm (Secretary-Treasurer), Andy Baker and Jim Gailloreto (Directors).

Coming up in July, I’m going to be playing with the Grant Park Orchestra for a program called “Broadway Rocks” on Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m. at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park. It will be featuring songs from Wicked, Hairspray, Momma Mia, Tommy, Phantom of the Opera, and many more.   You can also catch an open rehearsal on Tuesday, July 12th (11 a.m -1:30 pm) and/or Wednesday, July 13th (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

On Monday, July 11th, I’ll be playing in the band for a workshop of a new musical called “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” by Tom Sivak & Elizabeth Gelman at the Porchlight Music Theater here in Chicago. It is one of the featured shows of this year’s New York Musical Theater Festival.

April 2011 Update

Posted on 26 April 2011 | No responses

I had a great time playing and recording with Jamie Hayes in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago.  Our first day of recording was at a great studio called the Music Shed and the next at another cool studio called Fudge Studios.  I got to work with some great players including Shane Theriot (Guitars), Guthrie Trapp (Guitar and Mandolin), Travis McNabb (Drums) and Tom Drummond (Producer).  We played a fun concert with Jamie also at French Quarter Fest. Lots of fun.

I played another gig (which was recorded) with Gunnelpumpers at Reggies Music Joint on the south side of Chicago last Thursday. What a cool venue.

I got to lead a discussion with the Chicago Theater Musicians Association for a music business class at DePaul University last night which was also fun.

Working continues to be an open-ended run at the Broadway Playhouse. Great show and great band.  Nice gig!

Last month, I also celebrated my 16th year as a PADI scuba instructor.

March 2011 Update

Posted on 17 March 2011 | No responses

Well, it’s finally a great day in Chicago: 61º and sunny on St. Patrick’s Day … a welcome sight after such an intense winter (we’re almost officially in Spring … YES!).

I’m currently playing Working at the new Broadway Playhouse.  It opened two weeks ago to rave reviews and has been a lot of fun to play.

I’m playing with Gunnelpumpers on Saturday (March 19th) at the Heartland Cafe should be lots of fun.

I’m also going to be playing a concert at the New Orleans “French Quarter Festival” with Jamie Hayes on Sunday April 10th as a release party/gig/concert for his new cd “Signatures” featuring lots of great musicians. Jamie is a very cool composer/singer. If you’re in the N.O. area then, please come check it out.

February 2011 Update

Posted on 12 February 2011 | No responses

Hey Everyone,

After a great vacation in Cozumel, which got extend because of the 3rd biggest blizzard in Chicago’s recorded history, I got back just in time to start rehearsals for “Working” at the new Broadway Playhouse in Chicago (in Water Tower Place). It’s a great band with cool arrangements by Alex Lacamoire – who’s a lot of fun to work with.

I’ve got some upcoming dates with Gunnelpumpers: March 19 at Heartland  Cafe and April 21 at Reggie’s Music Joint. We’re also doing a live radio gig on WZRD in April. Stay tuned for details.

Stay warm everyone. Spring will be a welcome site!

November 2010 Update

Posted on 14 November 2010 | No responses

Hi All!

Well,  two weeks left of playing “The Lion King”, then one show of Billy Elliot on 11/28. It’s been great playing both!  We had a great time playing the Lion King / Billy Elliot Benefit last month and also playing a concert for the cast and crew of “Billy Elliot” on 11/13!

I’ll be subbing on “Music Man for part of December and also playing for “The Three Tenors” at the Holiday Star In Merriville, IN on 12/3.  I’ll also be playing with Gunnelpumpers at Martyr’s on 12/15.

The CFM election was today. I ran the Board of Directors, but lost by 47 votes.  Thank you to everyone that supported me!!!     Next time … :O)

I hope everyone has a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

October 2010 Update

Posted on 5 October 2010 | No responses

Hi Everyone!

I’m currently playing “The Lion King” at the Oriental Theater here in Chicago (taking a leave of absence from “Billy Elliot” until 11/28/10). It’s really great getting to play it again, especially since Rick Snyder is conducting!

I’m going to be playing a benefit with members of the casts and orchestras from “The Lion King” and “Billy Elliot” at the Royal George Theater on Monday, October 25th.  It should be a fun night. I hope you can make it.

I am also going to be running for the Board of Directors of the Chicago Federation of Musicians.  The election is on Sunday, 11/14.  You can either show up and vote at the CFM hall (anytime from 12-6) or request an absentee ballot. You can request one by sending an E-Mail at P-B-Grant@MSN.com If you’re in the Chicago Local (10-208), I hope that you’ll consider voting for me. THANKS!!!

September 2010 Update

Posted on 17 September 2010 | No responses

Hi Everyone,

I will be taking a leave of absence from “Billy Elliot” for 9 weeks (Sept. 29th-Nov. 27th)  to go play “The Lion King” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre here in Chicago. It’s hard to leave such an exceptional show as “Billy Elliot”, but “The Lion King” is exceptional as well.  I’ll be back to close “Billy Elliot”  November 28th-January 15, 2011.  I hope you can check them out!

July 2010 Update

Posted on 13 July 2010 | No responses

Hi Everyone,

I’m still playing “Billy Elliot” at the Oriental Theatre here in Chicago.  We just got our closing date which will be on January 15, 2011.  Check it out if you haven’t. It’s exceptional theater.

I just played “No Regrets” – a tribute to Guy Adkins tonight at the Steppenwolf Theater.  It was the Chicago theater community honoring the life of their fellow actor and amazing man who died way too soon May 13th.

I’m also recording some bass tracks for a New Orleans rock n’ roller named Jamie Hayes.  Fun project.

May 2010 Update

Posted on 12 May 2010 | No responses

He is now playing “Billy Elliot” at the Ford Oriental Theater which opened on 4/11/2010 to rave reviews.

He just played a benefit for Michael Cullen at the Royal George Theater on May 3rd. It had been almost 21 years since he played with the original Chicago Apollo Theater cast of “Pump Boys and Dinettes”.  He also enjoyed getting to play for Gretchen Cryer. Michael was our producer for “Pump Boys” and recently had a stroke and a lengthy hospital stay without insurance.  The benefit raised a lot of $$.  Thanks to everyone that came out.

Tom will be playing for Heather Headley for the Goodman Theatre Gala Concert at the Fairmont Hotel on May 22 with Doug Peck as the musical director.  It should be a really fun night.

2010 Update

Posted on 17 April 2010 | No responses

After recently playing “Young Frankenstein” and subbing on “Jersey Boys”, Tom took a vacation in Thailand filled with scuba diving in Phuket, zip lining in Chiang Mai, hangin’ in Bangkok in between touring the country, and visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia as well. YEAH!

He is now playing “Billy Elliot” at the Ford Oriental Theater which opened on 4/11/2010 to rave reviews and a cool party with Elton John, Oprah Winfrey and Rev. Jesse Jackson among the guests.

He is going to be playing a benefit for Michael Cullen at the Royal George Theater on May 3rd. It will be somewhat of a 20th reunion concert with the original Chicago Apollo Theater cast of “Pump Boys and Dinettes”. Michael was our producer for “Pump Boys” and recently had a stroke and a lengthy hospital stay without insurance. Please consider coming out. Thanks!

Tom is also very proud to announce the release of his son’s, Ashley Mendel, debut CD entitled “Auto Reverse or Rewind” available on Ghetto Crush Industries and iTunes.

Thanks for checking in!

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