Tom Berkmann is a German musician who has been living in New York since 2012.
He grew up in a small village in the beautiful Bavarian Alps, in the middle of Nowhere, a place so boring and quiet that the cows’ mooing and the churchbells were the only music excitement in his early childhood. When he first heard his older sisters’ record collection – groups like Jimi Hendrix, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana – Tom’s life had changed. He started growing his hair and picked up the guitar, started playing along with records and experimenting with sound and effects. Soon Tom got into Jazz Music and after playing Jazz guitar for a while, he eventually found his true love as a young teenager: The Contrabass.
Still being in high school Tom started studying Jazz Bass at the Richard-Strauss-Conservatory in Munich with Paulo Cardoso. After graduating from school he moved to Berlin to study at the Jazz Institute with Greg Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Hollenbeck. At the moment he is a DAAD scholarship holder (German Academic Exchange Service) and studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York with Jay Anderson.
Tom has toured with various groups in Germany, the United States, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Romania.
With the “Tobias Meinhart Quintet” he won the First Prize and Audience Award at the Getxo Jazz Festival in Spain. The Live CD of that concert is released on the label Errabal.
Together with The Major Minors and Cherilyn MacNeill he received the German Academy Award for Best Filmscore for the movie “Oh Boy” in 2013. The same year they won the German Critic’s Award for Best Soundtrack at the Berlin Film Festival Berlinale. The “Oh Boy” soundtrack is released on the label milan records.