“Electronic and acoustic thoughts merge and co-exist beautifully … in the middle of it all sits Barton, putting his poetry in motion with beautifully clear-headed vocals.”
– All About Jazz
“A breakthrough in leading-edge jazz vocals … always with profound expression.”
– The Weekend Australian
“Barton’s mastery and marrying of so many genres really is a gift to behold.”
Tom Barton is an adventurous contemporary vocalist, composer and performer based in Melbourne, Australia. Tom’s work features live vocal looping, electronic processing, improvisation, lyrics and extended vocal techniques. His music is acclaimed for its diverse stylistic elements, masterful vocal performances, and the seamless blurring of acoustic and electronic boundaries. Tom’s music is unique, philosophical and moving.
A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Tom has performed and recorded with artists including Barney McAll, Gian Slater and Invenio, Xani Kolac, Stephen Magnusson, Diego Villalta, Nicolas Sávva, The RAAH Project, Claire Cross, Astra Choir, and contemporary composers Kate Neal, David Shea, Byron Scullin, Tamil Rogeon and Andrew Byrne.
Tom has performed as both a solo artist and as a collaborator at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, The Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Live on ABC Radio National’s The Music Show, and he has toured both Australia and Japan.
Tom released his debut independent album Aspirations in 2014 to critical acclaim, with The Weekend Australian 4.5-star review heralding it as “a breakthrough in leading-edge jazz vocals … the arrival of a unique new talent”. The album was shortlisted for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album in the 2015 Jazz Bell Awards.
In 2016, Tom and guitarist Diego Villalta released a fully-improvised album, Connections, recorded in Osaka, Japan. All About Jazz hailed the music as “a greater constancy to jazz’s restless spirit than any number of aspirational takes on the Great American Songbook”.
In February 2018, Tom previewed a suite of new compositions titled Reflections at a sold-out Melbourne Recital Centre show. In 2020, Tom independently released the first single of this suite, ‘Wherever I Will Be’. In a 4-star review, All About Jazz lauded the genre-blurring piece as “a spellbinding work that owes no allegiance to any single camp and needs no contrast or company to gain notice.”
Tom has previously been funded by The Australia Council for the Arts to undertake intensive professional development with visionary vocalist/composer Theo Bleckmann in New York City, expanding Tom’s practice and advanced study of the voice and composition.
Tom continues to study with Jeannette LoVetri, New York-based leading contemporary voice pedagogue and creator of ground-breaking voice training Somatic Voicework™. Tom is now certified in all three levels of this methodology and it continues to inform his vocal innovation and artistry, as well as his university voice lecturing and private voice teaching.
Tom is currently developing a new solo vocal-looping soundscape suite that evolved out of livestreaming experiments during the lockdowns of 2020 & 2021. He will also be releasing further pieces from the Reflections suite.