The original members of the Tom Grant Band will reunite for an evening of music on Valentine’s weekend. On Saturday, February 13, Tom and the band will take the stage at Classic Pianos for a 90-minute livestream event. The show will be broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook, highlighting the songs that marked the band’s nearly-10 years together in the 1980s and 90s.
In 1983, building on an already successful career, the Tom Grant Band created a lasting place in the heart of the local music scene. The original band members, Dan Balmer on guitar, Jeff Leonard on bass, Carlton Jackson on drums, and Tom Grant on piano and vocals, continue to be active members of the Portland music community.
When the pandemic hit, Tom began a weekly livestream, performing in his home studio in Portland. Among the silver linings that have appeared during the pandemic, Grant appreciates the connection to his viewers, some of whom he knows personally, while others, only by their comments on the livestream.
For Grant, “the exchanges with his fans“ are something he looks forward to every week.
“Some viewers have never missed a show,” said Grant. ”and it has been great to connect with so many fans and friends that I haven’t seen in years.”
As the show grew in popularity, Grant moved two shows a month to Classic Pianos in Southeast Portland where he could bring in musical guests to join him on the show.
It was during these livestream that many of the viewers repeatedly brought up the idea of getting the original band together for a reunion performance.
Mert Meeker, longtime fan and music producer, was the one who made it a reality. At the urging of Meeker and Tom’s publicist, Grant approached his former band members, and the reunion date was set.
Meeker has been involved in Portland’s music scene for decades and is producing the reunion show as a way to “honor this iconic band, and to pay tribute to the artistry and influence that Tom Grant has had on our Jazz community.”
Although Grant has performed with his former guitarist Dan Balmer a couple of times in the recent years, it has been a while since the entire band has made a public appearance. The prospect of performing some of his most well-known work has been exciting for the group.
“I’m looking forward to playing those songs I don’t get a chance to play too often,” Grant said.
“I’ve enjoyed the conversations with the guys about the reunion,” he said. “These guys are really funny; they make me laugh.”
For the event, Grant will be partnering with local winery Stoller Family Estate to celebrate Valentine's weekend’s activities. In previous years, Tom has performed at Stoller Family Estate over the holiday weekend with vocalist Shelly Rudolph. When the pandemic upended those plans for 2021, Stoller stepped up to help promote the reunion project.
Rock violinist Aaron Meyer and his wife Renee are also helping to sponsor the show. In addition to Meyer’s band and solo work, he has built a successful music education program over the last twenty years. It is through the music education program that he developed a relationship with Dan Balmer both as a performer and educator.
“I’ve always been a fan of Tom’s” said Meyer, “and truly appreciate the lasting impact all of these musicians have had on our community.”
Local company Left Door Streaming will be producing the broadcast from the show, live from Classic Pianos. For more information on how to watch the show, visit www.tomgrant.com.