Musician songwriter Tom Hook began his career in Kansas City Missouri, performing in local in regional jazz and rock bands, as well as working as a stage performer at Worlds of Fun theme park. He was a founding member of the New Red Onion Jazz Babies, a regional “trad” jazz favorite.
Leaving Kansas City in 1980, Tom began a long association with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, working as a lounge entertainer on board the Mississippi Queen until late 1984 when he assumed bandleader duties on the Delta Queen. During his 1985 tenure on the DQ, 1986 found Tom in Orlando, FL working as a staff musician at Walt Disney World.
While in Orlando, Tom also worked in Bill Allred’s Good Time Jazz Band at Rosie O’Grady’s at Church Street Station, and with his own vintage rock band, The Terrier Brothers, at the Orchid Garden. The Terrier Brothers assumed duties of relief house band at Lil’ Darlin’s Rock and Roll Palace in Kissimmee, FL where they appeared with the rock and roll legends of the fifties and sixties. During the same time period, Tom also had the unique opportunity to record a progressive rock project with Kansas City based Ancient Vision at Ian Anderson’s (Jethro Tull) studio in Barford-St, Michael, UK.
Tom has continued to tour the world with multiple trips to Europe, the Mid-East, South America, Malaysia, and annual trips to Japan with Tom Fischer’s New Orleans All-Stars. He still participates in the West Coast Traditional Jazz Festival circuit, and makes annual trips to British Columbia. He recently co-wrote and starred in the “Big Easy Award”-winning production of “Jump Jive and Wail, the Music of Louis Prima” at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
When not on tour, Tom performs nightly in New Orleans and on board the American Queen and Queen of the Mississippi Riverboats with his own New Orleans All-Stars (fronted by legendary trumpet man Wendell Brunious) and with his own one-man show “Becoming Jelly Roll”. The All-Stars also make regular appearances at world renowned Preservation Hall.
Wendell Brunious (born October 27, 1954, New Orleans) is an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader. Born on October 27, 1954, Brunious was born into a Louisiana Creole family, the son of Nazimova “Chinee” Santiago and John “Picket” Brunious, Sr., a trumpeter who studied at Juilliard and played with the Onward Brass Band, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, and Paul Barbarin, and who arranged for Billy Eckstine and Cab Calloway. Brunious’ brother John Brunious, Jr., was another notable New Orleans jazz trumpeter and a predecessor as bandleader of Preservation Hall Jazz Band. His nephew is Mark Braud, a successor as bandleader of Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Brunious sang in Chief John and the Mahogany Hall Stompers in the 1960s, a group in which his father was also a member. He began on trumpet at age 11 and played at Paul Barbarin’s funeral. He studied at Southern University (where he played with Danny Barker) and played dance music in clubs on Bourbon Street in the middle of the 1970s.
Wendell Brunious, Evan Christopher, and Don Vappie perform at the Public Domain Project Jazz at the Mint in New Orleans in May 2018. In 1976, Brunious substituted for his father in Albert “Papa” French’s band for Mardi Gras, and by 1979 was playing regularly at Preservation Hall with Kid Thomas Valentine. He was named leader of the group upon Valentine’s death in 1987. He also played with the Eureka Brass Band (1980), Lionel Hampton (1981), Linda Hopkins (1984), and Sammy Rimington (1984). He played with Louis Nelson in 1986-89, and did recordings with the Caledonia Jazz Band of Norway in 1986 and 1987. His first record as a leader came in 1986, which featured Nelson, Rimington, and Barry Martyn as sidemen. He later played with Michael White, Chris Barber, Papa Don Vappie, Bob Wilber, and the Pfister Sisters. He has remained a regular performer at Preservation Hall into the 2010s.