Tom McDermott is one of New Orleans' premiere piano players and composers. He grew up in St. Louis where he earned a masters degree in Music, wrote music journalism for the morning paper and soaked up the sounds of ragtime and traditional jazz that flourished there in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1984, spurred by his love of James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, he moved to New Orleans and has been quite busy ever since. For much of the 1990s he was in the Dukes of Dixieland, which took him to Europe, Asia, South America and all over the States (including Carnegie Hall). In 1995, after arranging a tune for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band album "Jelly," he co-founded the modern brass band the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. Tom has written for the theatre (the Obie-award-winning off-Broadway show, "Nita and Zita"), and appeared in bit roles in the movies ("He Said She Said"). In the New Orleans-based HBO series "Treme," he played himself five times in three seasons and had 10 pieces of music used on the soundtrack. Tom is known for his eclecticism, and is just about the only New Orleans pianist to stretch from the mid-19th-century music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk to the funky New Orleans piano today. Tonight he performs all his own original material at this annual birthday show.