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Tom Sharpe
World Music that Rocks
Famous Drummer with Mannheim Steamroller


Tom Sharpe Performs His Unique Style of Music on National TV


Tom Sharpe Solo Performance


Tom Sharpe Solo Performance 2


Tom Sharpe Duo Performance


Tom Sharpe's University Master Class


Keynote Address: Self Employment in the Arts Conference



The Columbus Dispatch - Dec. 22, 2014 - Dec. 22, 2014

The Daily Herald - Feb. 24, 2015


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About the Performance

Tom Sharpe is the drummer for the Grammy Award winning group Mannheim Steamroller and an internationally recognized, critically acclaimed composer.  He is a sought out performer and clinician, and the creator of his own group, the Tom Sharpe Ensemble.  Tom’s own compositions have won many awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the Broadjam World Music Contest. He is alumni of the Interlochen Arts Academy, and holds the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from DePaul University.  Tom’s current solo performances are in support of his latest release – a symphony released in 2014 titled “Lifting the World”. 

Tom’s original music is a percussive symphony - a sonic and visual feast for the senses. A classically trained musician, Tom has dramatically blended his orchestral background with world music instrumentation and cinematic imagery to create an experience that invites the listener into the heart of the musical moment - wildly emotional and technically precise, with a gutsy edge of percussive frenzy and tribal ritual. Weaving together powerful elements of sound and rhythm, Tom is equally proficient on a vast array of percussion and keyboard instruments. Seamlessly blending genres from Middle Eastern, African, orchestral, and rock music, Tom moves between traditional instrumentation and electronics with ease and precision.  With a fresh approach to world music, Tom's high energy, passion, and emotion, combined with superb musicality, leave audiences amazed and inspired! 


Sharpeworldmusic - Like Setting Myself on Fire (2002)
Tom Sharpe - Lifting the World (2014)

Tom Sharpe Biography

TOM SHARPE is an internationally recognized, award-winning composer, performer, and recording artist.  He is a sought out clinician and performer of his own works, and the artistic director and principal performer of the SHARPE WORLD MUSIC ENSEMBLE.  Along with his own music, Tom is the drummer for the widely popular, Grammy award winning group, MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER.
Tom currently resides in the Chicagoland area.

Tom is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy, and holds the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from DePaul University in Chicago.  He has spent years developing his unique style of visually stimulating performance and lyrical composition.  A classically trained musician, Tom has blended his orchestral background with world music instrumentation and cinematic imagery to create an experience that invites the listener into the heart of the musical moment – wildly emotional and technically precise, with a gutsy edge of percussive frenzy and tribal ritual.

Tom's debut CD "Like Setting Myself on Fire" was released to critical acclaim.  The title track of the CD was voted “Grand Prize Winner” - World Music Song of the Year by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.  "Trance-formation”, another album track, received honors as one of three finalists in the same category.  Tom also won the 2007 Broadjam World Music Contest with “The Burning Sands”, and has been honored as a finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition and the Unisong International Songwriting Competition. He has also received outstanding achievement awards in composition from VH1, Disc Makers, and the Great American Songwriting Contest.

Tom performed the world premiere of "Like Setting Myself on Fire" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.  He was a featured artist at the 2004 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, and at the Nashville New Music Conference in Nashville, TN, for two consecutive years.  In 2005 Tom was featured in the PBS Special “Arts Across Illinois”.  In 2006 and 2007 Tom provided the live soundtrack for Dance Chicago’s World Rhythms and Dance series, International Rhythms series, and Grand Finale at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, as well as performed on stage.  He was commissioned to write a world music ensemble piece that was performed at the National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis in March 2007, and premiered his first symphony for world percussion with his ensemble and the Elmhurst College Choir in concert in April 2007. In 2008, Tom performed at the “Great Performers of Illinois” festival in Millennium Park, Chicago. 2007–2015 has found Tom performing live as a solo artist, with his ensemble, with Mannheim Steamroller, and with Dennis DeYoung of the famed rock group Styx, as well as guest appearances with Lenny Kravitz, Martha Davis of the Motels, Martina McBride, American Idol favorite David Archuletta, and select US tour dates with singing supergroup IL DIVO.  His national television performances include NBC’s Pandora Unforgettable Moments on Ice, the Oprah Winfrey Show, A+E, AXS TV, Nightline, PBS, and WGN..  In June of 2012 Tom was honored to have the unique experience of judging the Miss New Mexico Pageant for Miss America, and in 2013 he was a keynote speaker at the 13th Annual Self Employment in the Arts Conference.  He released his second album “Lifting the World – A Symphony by Tom Sharpe” in 2014.  Tom can also be heard on the CD “Mannheim Steamroller, Christmas Symphony II” (2013) and the Blu Ray/CD package “Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX, Live in Los Angeles” (2014).  Tom is endorsed and represented by the Yamaha Corporation of America, Sabian Cymbals, Vater Sticks and Mallets, Aquarian Drum Heads, Black Swamp Percussion, HipTrix Glowing Percussion, the Illinois Arts Council, and Class Act Performing Artists. 


"He is a true artist, creating his own music in a manner fitting to the desires of the audience while stretching their imagination." - Benedictine University, Lisle, IL

"Tom really brings the music to life.  He knocked everyone out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Powerful elements of sound and rhythm.  It is very cool." – Brian Rothschild, The John Lennon Songwriting Contest

“He’s even got an instrument on his shoes.  I love it!” – WGN Television, Chicago, IL

"A show where anything is possible" - The Daily Herald

"Watching Tom perform is as amazing as the sounds he produces.  He uses his entire body and spiritual aura to embrace the instruments" - Robert Morris College, Chicago, IL

"We enjoyed Tom’s musical skill and display of showmanship (with Mannheim Steamroller) as his Tommy Lee / Lars Ulrich rock star style included dramatic hand gestures, drumstick twirling, and suspenseful dramatic pauses during his "Little Drummer Boy" solos." - the Flash List, Dallas TX

"East meets West meets North meets South as he draws together classical sounds, tribal rhythms, improvisational verve and a bit of theatrical flair" - PBS Television

"Vibrant with the energy of creation. A mix that cries out for divine unforgettable performance."
- Yoga Chicago

"Tom's music is original and exceptional and his performances are highly recommended."
- Carolyn Brode, Gorton Center for the Performing Arts

"A daytime performance of just a single song left both panelists and attendees talking for three days afterwards."
- David Hooper, The Nashville New Music Conference, Nashville, IL

“His energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the music made every minute on stage feel like something magical at the moment.” – The Schaumburg Township District Library Town Square Concert Series

“Tom’s unique style and energetic performance captivated both the students and standing room only audience of over 900.” – Waubonsie Valley High School

“I highly recommend Tom as a performer and clinician.  His musicianship is an inspiration to all.” – Barrington High School. 

“A rare talent performing in our midst.” – Margene Pappas, Oswego High School, Oswego, IL

"Tom's front and center stage position (with Dennis DeYoung) showcased his meticulous artistry on the drums" - The Flash List, Dallas, TX