Tom Coppola is a jazz musician and educator. He grew up in Brooklyn, where the variety of New York radio broadcasting was a huge inspiration. When he was a child, his parents bought the Steinway piano which he still has.

Living in New York afforded opportunity to meet and play with a variety of artists. He has recorded and toured with Herbie Mann, toured with Marvin Gaye, and recorded a gold record for Paul Simon, a Platinum Record for “CHIC”. He played in the orchestra for the Broadway show, Dreamgirls.  

After obtaining a Masters in Jazz Studies and Film Composing at The University of Southern California, studying with Shelley Berg, he taught for almost 20 years as Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina, and College of Mars Hill. The courses covered jazz piano instruction, orchestral arranging, composition, class piano, combo, and music theory. Tom is inspired by all music, but especially Jazz and Afro-Cuban.  


Tom is a former music producer and arranger for NBC's Saturday Night Live. Here are some of the cues:

cue                                       host                                music                                

“Assimilated Jews”        Angie Dickenson                 David Gilmore 

“Chanukah Carols"          


“Pit Bulls”                            Sean Penn                          LL Cool J 

“Adobe”                            John Lithgow                        Anita Baker

“Medical Waste”                                                             Sugar Cubes 

“MacSushi”                        Valerie Bertinelli                  Robert Cray 

“Compulsion”                     Robert Mitchum                  Simply Red 

“Cory Acquino’s Secret”

“Enterpayment Tonight”

“Mr. Short-Term Memory”  Tom Hanks                          Keith Richards/Aerosmith

“Sleepy Time Rats”               Ted Danson 

“Change Bank”                      John Malkovitch                  Anita Baker 

“Johnny Canal”

“Crazed Caller”                          Madonna 

“Gifted Rapper”                         Damon Wayans

“Gary Hart”                               Steve Martin                             Sting 

Station Break                          Dabney Coleman                     The Cars 

“Back To Carbon Paper”        John Larroquette                   Randy Newman 

Darwin’s Burden”                       Rob Lowe                        The Pogues 

He is the producer of the band AIR, Featuring Googie.

  Tom has also recorded or toured with  Peggy Lee, Brook Benton, Cissy Houston, Patti LuPone, Orchestra Harlow, Tito Puente, The Tommy Dorsey Band, Otis Blackwell, and Lenny White.

He has performed concert and club appearances with Chet Baker, Marcus Miller, David “Fathead” Newman, Dave Valentin, Jeff Berlin, Manolo Badrena, Jeremy Steig, Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Tony Levin, Mark Egan, Eddie Gomez, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Dave Bargeron, Leon Pendarvis, Steve Turre, Jon Faddis, Kenny Kirkland, Dave Taylor, Chris Parker, Will Lee, Paulinho da Costa, Ernie Watts, Bernard Purdie, Anthony Jackson, Cornell Dupree, Paul Jackson, Jr., Manhattan Transfer, Eric Alexander, Larry Coryell.


Youtube video:Tube Video:  

 Tito Puente. go to



Artist                                Title                                                              Label

Air                                     AIR                                  Atlantic/Runt©2008(Embryo) SD733

Herbie Mann                      Fire Island                                       Atlantic 19112

Fatback                                  Night Fever                                     Spring SP 1-6711

Chic                                            CHIC                                            Atlantic 19153

Googie & Tom Coppola        Shine The Light Of Love                 Columbia JC 36194

Lenny White                   Attitude                    Elektra 60232   

Paul Simon                          Hearts And Bones                                    Warners 23492


Arranger and author:

Two books are offered for sale. The first is Jazz Standards for Piano, 40 pp., published by Hal Leonard, HL00310342; and available from Also, new, is Theory For Jazz Piano.

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