Tom began playing the Saxophone at the age of 14. He studied Classical and Jazz saxophone under Rob Buckland and Carl Raven at the RNCM. He was then awarded a specialist Jazz Scholarship for Post Graduate Study at RNCM, and continued his studies with Loose Tubes bassist Steve Berry along with Jazz Saxophonist Tim Garland. He has made a number of classical recordings under the Naxos label with RNCM’s award winning Wind Orchestra and Saxophone Orchestra, as well as commercially available Jazz recordings of his own compositions. Winner of the RNCM Improvisation Medal in 2011, he has since gone on to award nominations as a saxophone soloist; at Bucharest Jazz Festival, The Peter Whitingham Prize and most recently at the Taichung International Saxophone Competition.
In a live semi-final of saxophonists from over 30 countries; Tom went on to reach runner up in the Grand Final of 10 soloists; narrowly missing out to Grammy winner Tivon Pennicott.
Hanging Gardens (live) at Sea Speak Album Launch: Band on the Wall, Manchester 2016
Performance of Giya Kancheli’s Night Prayers for Soprano Saxophone, String Orchestra and Electronics. Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester 2010.
Chanson by Tom Thorp, with The Taka Ensemble at Howden Minster, East Yorkshire June 2016. Featuring solos by Tim Rathbone (vla), Graham Clark (vln) and Tom Thorp (tnr).
Mercury started life in 2012, when they were final year students at the Royal Northern College of Music. After their first gig, as a warm up for the Robert Glasper Trio they officially launched at the 2012 Manchester Jazz Festival. Their first album Mercury:[LP] in 2013 saw them take the debut UK Tour, visiting RNCM, King’s Place, Colston Hall, Jersey and Southport Jazz Festivals, alongside art centres and clubs across the UK. It also saw them nominated for the Peter Whitingham Jazz Award. 2016 saw Mercury expand to a 5 piece line up, welcoming Richard Jones to the fold and the release of second album Sea Speak. The Sea Speak tour included a sell out launch at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, critical acclaim from reveiwer’s for gigs and record alike plus an ever increasing catalogue of new material, developing the bands sound, blending the aesthetics and language of contemporary jazz with flavours of grunge, folk, electronic and classical music.
“Mercury always engage. Energetic grooves mix with warmth and lyricism – a perfect combination.” Gwilym Simcock
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Their debut album Monkey Puzzle was released in August 2017 and officially launched at a special performance for the 2017 Manchester Jazz Festival.
The album features innovative and virtuosic compositions by Tom Thorp and Kyran Matthews, blending a generous spattering of influences from the chamber music of Bartok, Boulez and Stravinsky; the unique jazz voices of Ornette Coleman and Thelonius Monk; the powerful sound and fiery interplay of the Axis and Artvark Sax Quartets.