Growing up in the touring lifestyle as the son of a Broadway musician, Glenbrook South grad Tom “TomCat Trumpet” Burke knew he was destined for the stage. But with his own spin.
After years of experience in jazz bands from high school on, Burke found a niche all his own in his mid-20s — bringing a live musical component to electronic and dance performances at nightclubs across Chicago and beyond.
This week, he stepped back to his roots to release “A Tomcat Trumpet Christmas EP,” a five-song collection of holiday favorites flavored with his signature brass flair.
“Most cats in this city know me as rippin’ trumpet over house music in nightclubs, and I want to showcase my love for jazz and Christmas music,” Burke said. “I selected a few Christmas songs that have always had a special place in my heart and take me back to opening presents by the fire as a kid.”
Burke’s trumpet takes a starring role in instrumental twists on familiar classics, such as “Silent Night” and “White Christmas,” as well as an unexpected addition — “Besame Mucho.”
“I added that song in because although it’s not Christmas music, I heard it along growing up with my mother being Colombian, and it felt right to add it to the album and bring some Latin flavor,” he said.
He tapped Brad Kemp, who co-produced the album, to also play piano on that song.
“I love working with him,” Burke said. “He has vast musical knowledge and helped bring my idea for the album to life.”
The new EP, released Tuesday, is now available for streaming and purchase on most major outlets.