Tom Dempsey

Tom Dempsey

 New York, New York, USA

Great tunes, terrific solos and careful listening to each other. Tom Dempsey and Tim Ferguson do it all, and swing!
-Jim Hall
Jazz Guitar Legend


Guitarist Tom Dempsey’s reputation in the New York jazz scene for hard swinging sophistication and pure musicality have made him a distinct voice in the New York Jazz Scene. In recent years Tom has performed and/or recorded with a virtual "Who’s Who" of world renowned jazz musicians including: Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Tal Farlow, Buddy Montgomery, George Coleman, Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes, Jack McDuff, Bobby McFerrin, Gerald Wilson, Mel Torme, Richard Wyands, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Dave Brubeck. He has recorded six CDs as a leader: Saucy (Planet Arts Records), Beautiful Friendship (Planet Arts Records), What’s Going On (City Tone Records), Perspectives (Imaginary Records), Blues In The Slope (Igmod Records), If Only We Knew (Self Release). Tom has also recorded as a sideman on many recordings. Since 1992, Tom has been performing as a leader and a sideman at some of the top jazz venues throughout the world including the JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz Festival, The Blue Note, Yoshi’s, Smalls and Smoke

Dempsey has worked extensively with tap dancing virtuoso Savion Glover in Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk as well as in live concerts. He has made numerous appearances on New York radio and television including performances on The Rosie O’Donnell Show and the HBO series Sex and the City. Tom is an Artist Endorsee for Thomastik-Infeld Strings

Along with his active performing career, Tom Dempsey’s talent as a composer is receiving noteworthy attention. Because of his distinctive sound and style Dempsey’s music has been described as having "fine compositional ability and stylistic accessibility." His music has been featured on his recordings as well as television and radio programs throughout the world including the HBO hit series Sex and the City.

Tom’s deep commitment to education has made him a highly sought after educator and clinician. In recent years he has been teaching at Jazz at Lincoln Center, SUNY New Paltz, Rutgers University, New York Jazz Academy and as Artistic Director of the Jazz Summit at the National Guitar Workshop. He is also the Director of Music for the National Guitar Workshop where he serves as Director of Music for the acclaimed Pat Metheny Summer Workshop.

His books Jazz Eras for Guitar, Easy Soloing for Jazz Guitar, Sight-Reading for the Contemporary Guitarist and Classic Jazz Styles for Guitar are available through Alfred Music and Workshop Arts. Tom will release "50 Licks of the Jazz Guitar Masters That You Must Know" for TrueFire publications in 2012 where he also offers on-line instruction through the Guitar Sherpa program. Dempsey has also recorded over 170 online lessons for covering jazz guitar performance, repertoire development and music theory. Tom received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in May 1991. In May 1996, he acquired his Masters Degree in Jazz/Commercial Music at Manhattan School of Music.


Tom Dempsey - Saucy
Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson - Beautiful Friendship
Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson - What's Going On
Teraesa Vinson/Tom Dempsey - Next To You
Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet - Perspectives
Tom Dempsey - Blues In The Slope
Tom Dempsey - If Only We Knew

Set List

The each group performs an extensive repertoire of original material and selected jazz standards from the masters including music by Ellington, Strayhorn, Vernon Duke, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Hoagy Carmichael and many others. Each set lasts approximately one hour in length, and a typical concert consists of 2 one hour sets with a 15-20 minute intermission.