Tom Kitchen has been straddling musical genres ever since he picked up the guitar. While playing in the Virginia Tech Jazz Big Band, conducted by the late Joe Kennedy, Jr., Tom was belting out Bob Dylan covers in local dives at night. After finishing his Bachelor of Arts under the tutelage of Grammy Award winning arranger Chip McNeil, Tom moved to the Crescent City to study jazz guitar with Blue Note recording artist Steve Masakowski, Hank Mackie, and the legendary Ellis Marsalis at the University of New Orleans. Finally, after earning his Master's in the Art of Teaching at the School for International Training in Vermont, Tom re-established himself in DC. For the next four years Tom studied various classical guitar styles with worldrenowned guitarist Berta Rojas and various Brazilian, Central and South American styles with Dr. Richard Miller. Tom was eventually licensed and endorsed by the Virginia Dept. of Ed. to teach instrumental music (Prek-12th grade) from 2007 to 2019.
Currently, Tom teaches guitar, ukulele, bass, mandolin, and piano. Tom enjoys working with students of all ages. His approach to teaching is student-centered and engages student's higher-order thinking skills as they develop their musical literacy and instrumental facility. Tom is a patient teacher who strives to understand his student's learning styles and preferences, so that he can communicate to his students in ways that they understand and learn to help them become well-rounded musicians.
Tom also performs regularly throughout the DMV with the Tritone Jazz Trio & the Capitol Lab Band, which is a full 18-piece big band in the "modern" style, playing mostly original compositions and other high-energy charts. Tom has performed at the Blues Alley, The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, the National Mall, Annmarie Gardens Jazz Festival, Gypsy Sally's, Twins, Mr Henry's, and The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to name a few.