A third generation trombonist, Tom Brantley grew up in a musical household in South Louisiana surrounded by a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, Latin, soul, pop/rock, country, bluegrass, and Cajun. Tom holds degrees in trombone performance/jazz studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of North Texas. While an undergraduate, he studied with Christian Lindberg at the Umea Music Festival in Sweden, and performed an eight-week opera orchestra engagement in Graz, Austria. While a graduate student, he recorded five CDs with the Grammy-nominated One O'clock Lab Band. Tom held the lead and jazz chairs with the One O'clock and performed throughout Portugal on tour with the band.
Tom is currently Professor of Trombone at the University of South Florida in Tampa, while he also serves as the trombonist for the chamber group Rhythm & Brass. Prior to his appointment at USF, he was an adjunct instructor at the University of North Texas. He has presented master classes and performances at many music conferences including the International Trumpet Guild, the International Trombone Festival, the Florida Music Educators Association, and the International Association of Jazz Educators. He serves as News Editor for both the International Trombone Association Journal and Website. Tom is also a founding member and officer of the Central Florida Trombone Society, a local affiliate of the International Trombone Association.
While teaching at USF, Tom performs regularly with the USF Faculty Brass Quintet, the USF Faculty Chamber Players, the USF Jazz Faculty Ensemble, the Jack Wilkins Jazz Group, and Chuck Owen's jazz orchestra Jazz Surge. He was awarded a USF Research Grant to fund a recording project with colleague Jay Coble. The CD of trombone and trumpet music features a new work by Chuck Owen entitled "Confluences." Other projects at USF include premiering a new work by composer and colleague Jim Lewis and performing on Jack Wilkins Jazz Etudes project for Mel Bay Publishers.
His work with Rhythm & Brass includes recordings and a chamber music textbook series. Tom has performed with the group in every state in the U.S. (except Hawaii) and throughout the world. Recent tours have included Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and the Caribbean. In 2002, Rhythm & Brass was featured as the opening concert of the International Trombone Festival. They were also part of the faculty at the 2004 Raphael Mendez Brass Institute in Colorado.