Tom Van Tassel

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2018-03-26

I was first exposed to jazz listening to my parent's record collection and after attending a "Battle of the Bands" concert at the end of sophomore year in high school. I was hooked. I pulled my dad's trombone out of the closet and became a fanatic which eventually allowed me to receive a scholarship to attend college. Although I changed my major from music to industrial engineering, I continued to play in the university jazz ensemble and helped pay my way through school by playing gigs on weekends. This continued on until my career with IBM took off and couldn't dedicate the time to playing. After retiring, I pulled the trombone out again and have been playing in a number of groups. During the past six years, I have been acting as president of the Austin Jazz Society. This organization is dedicated to promoting the jazz genre and local musicians. The membership organization continues to grow as does the interest in Jazz here in the Austin, TX area.