||In an age new with musical interpretation that can span the bridge of diversity, emerges the distinct, smooth jazz/pop style of Tom Mustachio. His solo piano creates lyrical melodies that capture not only the jazz enthusiast's, but also the pop and adult contemporary ear. His melodies are enchanting and sophisticated with memorable themes that one will want to hear again and often.
Playing piano since he was 5, starting lessons at age 8, Mustachio knew by the time he was 15 that music was his life's calling. He understood the need for strong classical training, and pursued degrees at Westminster Choir College in piano performance and choral conducting. He was at the head of his class in piano performance, but it was mainstream music that called out to him. Mixing Beethoven, Brahms and Broadway in the school's practice rooms earned him a distinctive reputation.
While a student at Westminster, Mustachio's compositions started to emerge. I was writing new age music before it even had a name! exclaims the composer. I'd often sit at the piano and just release emotionally through music - elation, feeling blue, whatever - it all came out. I didn't know what to do with this music. It fit none of the pigeon holes that were used to neatly categorize music in those days. With the introduction of new age music, Mustachio found his niche. Composing is about opening up to the core of my being; allowing myself to be vulnerable, and getting in touch with my deepest emotions. When I'm connected with that core, the music flows out of me. For example, the piece Macleod, one of my favorites, was sketched out in about 10 minutes. The themes just flowed. It was amazing; I felt like a musical channeler.
I'm strongly influenced by my classical roots and my love and appreciation for beautiful, lyric vocal lines. You can hear those influences clearly in the music he writes today. A classical foundation overlaid with a pop sound, romantic lyricism, memorable, hummable melodies - these are the trademarks of the Mustachio sound. His music is rich with warmth, soul, and heartfelt passion. You can hear the singer while there are no words; you can hear the orchestra although piano is the only instrument playing.
Mustachio also loves to improvise new treatments of familiar tunes; to give the tunes new meaning - a fresh interpretation. "There's so much improvising and embellishing done with standards. Sometimes you're not given more than a great melody with some very simple chord changes underneath. I love to take that chart and turn it into something that soars." Mustachio's ability to weave a beautiful harmonic tapestry that showcases a familiar tune has earned him a place as a favorite among those who have heard his live performances.
His musical theatre keyboard-conducting-musical direction credits include over 50 productions in the United States and Europe. He has performed at The Philadelphia Academy of Music, Minnesota Orchestra Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and Charleston, SC.
Tom Mustachio is the author of A Child's First Catholic Dictionary. His sacred music has been published by Pilgrim Press and Lighthouse Music Works. His arrangements and piano artistry can be heard on the recordings Young at Heart and A Tribute to Barbra Streisand. The recordings Favorite Hymns and Anthems and Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, feature the Chancel Choir and organ of historic First Congregational Church of Minnesota UCC (Minneapolis), where Mustachio has been Minister of Music for thirteen years.