This is blues that will kickstart your heart! It’s sexy, bluesy, fretboard magic; blues guitar, played the way it should be. You should bring this one home with you now. Why are you waiting?” - Barry Kirzner

— American Blues Scene

You listen to him and you feel you've just discovered genius. I don't know why he's not big-time. Maybe he chooses not to be; maybe he's as successful as he wants and needs to be. If he wants more than he has right now, though, Blizzard of Blues ought to give it to him. ”

— Michael Scott Cain

One of the best guitarists I've ever heard.” - Tommy Castro
A superior guitarist...a superior artist with plenty of potential.” - Bruce Iglauer, President of Alligator Records

Tommy Z EPK

Top 5 Billboard Blues,  Top 5 iTunes Blues and #1 charting/selling artist Tommy Z hails from Buffalo, NY. He has toured extensively around the world fronting his own group as an international/national festival headliner, and also as sideman to the likes of Grammy-winner Pinetop Perkins. Inducted into Buffalo's Music Hall of Fame in 2007 he's also done numerous tours for US troops around the world in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Egypt the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Micronesia etc. via USO/AFE. His award-winning and acclaimed guitar playing, singing and songwriting combines the best in classic and contemporary blues with pop, rock, jazz and funk influences. The last three self-produced albums, "Sometimes" 2013, "Blizzard of Blues" 2016 and “Plug in and Play” 2023 were all released on his South Blossom Records label to widespread critical acclaim and affirming the commitment and work that goes into being a 100% true indie artist. 

 In 2018 and 2019 The TZB headlined the 2nd biggest New Years Eve Ball Drop in the country to an expected 40,000 (they were also booked for 2020 which was cancelled over the virus). 2019 Included headlining festivals in Denmark and again in Colombia, South America (w/a 3rd tour there in 2023) followed by support for Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan's tours. The latest album entitled, "Plug in and Play" features songs written and produced by four-time Grammy-award winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Jagger/Richards, Clapton, etc.). One of the songs from the album called "Tommy Guns" was a finalist in the blues category of the 2021 International Songwriting Competition. 

Offstage Tommy has composed TV/film music for the "Red Hot Chili Peppers Biography" on A&E. He wrote the St. Louis Blues (NHL) victory song in 2009, has a variety of placements on NBC/Discovery/Biography/Animal Planet (co-writing the "Swamp Wars" show main title with music supervisor Matt Kierscht) and many more. He hosted the Saturday and Sunday Night Blues radio show on Buffalo's NPR affiliate WBFO 88.7 FM and has since left to start his own 24/7 station WBLZ, Blizzard of Blues Radio w/listeners in over 28 countries. His passion for teaching music has been put to use as a teacher and master class clinician for decades.

Booking Tommy Z and his band ensures you will have accomplished, experienced, world class talent at your festival, event or venue. He is also available as an event emcee/dj and for master classes/seminars.


Sample Tracks

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Press links

Buffalo Guitar Hero Storms Billboard's Top Ten
American Blues Scene:  "Tommy Z Blows Us Away w/Blizzard of Blues."
Buffalo News:  Ten Minutes With Tommy Z
Don and Sheryl Crow Nashville Blues Society
Alternate Root Review and What's Trending
Bman's Blues Report: Blizzard of Blues
Blues Magazine Netherlands Review of BoB

Concert Review: A Tale of Two Sisters

Tommy Z Celebrates 4th of July with Blues in Apopka


"You listen to him and you feel you've just discovered genius.  Why have I never heard of this guy? How can somebody this gifted be working in relative obscurity?  I don't know why he's not big-time. Maybe he chooses not to be; maybe he's as successful as he wants and needs to be. If he wants more than he has right now, though, Blizzard of Blues ought to give it to him." Michael Scott Cain

CD Review – Tommy Z – Blizzard of Blues
January, 2016
Blue Barry – Smoky Mountain Blues Society

Don’t even think that winter is over! A “Blizzard of Blues” is coming your way in the form of Tommy Z’s newest CD! That’s right “Blizzard of Blues!” Named after Tommy got caught in an upstate New York blizzard of epic proportions! Yea, we’re talking Buffalo, New York. The home of snow for the rest of us! With nine cuts, and Tommie writing eight of them, it is a monster storm in fact! The majority of the CD is slow blues. Slow blues are by far my most favorite in the world, and does he ever nail them! Tommy is a singer/songwriter/ guitar monster/ producer/engineer, composer and he nails it in this his fourth studio recording. Several songs are over eight minutes long which gives Tommy plenty of time to state his feelings. This is a real electric blues CD. No filler. Top to bottom great stuff. I’m a guitar player and it’s hard to fool me. He’s got it. I’m hard to please, and I crank it up. And I’m basically an acoustic guy, but dang……he dumped a big snow on me. Tommy has played with everybody who is anybody in the blues. Sharing the stage with most blues giants that you can think of. He has toured the U.S., Canada, South America, and has played the blues from Iraq to Alaska, via Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Japan, and lots more. Make no doubt about it, Tommy Z is real. Try out for more info. Try out ITunes to get you a copy real quick. Tommy Z brings the storm of the century with “Blizzard of Blues.”

"It's surprising that Tommy Z is described as WNY's best kept secret, because unlike a lot of bluesmen he certainly gets around. From Afghanistan to Korea and a dozen countries in between, Tommy takes his blues out to US troops and if this smartly packaged, well produced CD is anything to go by, their morale must be duly raised. There are so many facets to this man's music career. He's played with among other, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Joe Bonamassa. The two opening tracks, Lovergirl and Going to a Party thump you straight between the shoulder blades. On the slower, moody Memory of Love, Tommy's insistent fat Fender sound is graced with Kevin Urso's velvet room filling organ, and halfway through the song there's an unexpected choral vocal bridge which takes you by surprise on a blues album. The title track Blizzard of Blues lives up to its title with guitar and organ steering things along at a furious pace. This is bold big in your face 21st century rock blues; fast resourceful and brimming with ideas. A blizzard of talent, it'll leave you breathless."  Roy Bainton, Blues Matters Magazine UK

"Saw this tight band with its amazing front man today. Talent at every position in the quartet... I saw a full-fledged national act. What a show. And each and every member of the band was a real gentleman. Today's experience at the Red White and Blues Festival at the commons in Fredonia was well worth traveling from Cincinnati to see this outfit [6 hr. drive]. To say I was impressed, might be the understatement of the year. This band is a must see for anyone who loves great blues and is in reasonable distance to make the trek. For me, Cincy-to-WNY was reasonable to hear their sound!"  Jim Bianchine, Cincinnati Blues Society

"From straight Chicago Blues to blues/rock, blues with a hint of jazz and more.  Tommy is a master at reading an audience and gives them what they want. Blizzard Of Blues is a diverse piece of work that stays fairly close to blues traditions, flows smoothly, and is easy on the ear. I recommend this one to anyone with a love for blues guitar.  It is a keeper.   Tommy and the band love music in general, with a deep respect for the blues and those who paved the way to make albums like this one possible...a fact that is evident in every note they play."  Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

Song by Song Review by Peter Merrett PBS Australia  "Hard driving Blues from a master musician, a must for your collection. Helping to shape 2016 as a stellar year for modern Blues."
*** Track 1. - "Lovergirl". Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Stanley Swampski.
Damone Jackson - Drums.
Jeremy Keyes - Harmonica.
Tommy kicks off with a rolling Blues  that instantly establish that this is one very good album. The vintage feel in the recording of this palpable and very effective. Tommy lays down some ever so tasty guitar as Keyes unleashes on his harmonica and absolutely rips it up. Very solid way to kick off the album.
*** Track 2. - "Going Top A Party". - Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Walter Riggo - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums.
Here we have Tommy with his hair slicked back, collar up and a snarling lip. So very different from track 1 as we Rock and Roll with a hint of good ole Rockabilly. Tommy Z unleashes the demons from within as he takes on the guise of a 50's Rock & Roll Trio. Very authentic sound that has you wanting to go to the party. Tommy Z certainly can be a chameleon with his sound and style, but heh that's what we all like about him. No boundaries.
*** Track 3. - "Memory Of Love". - Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Stanley Swampski - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums, Percussion.
Kevin Urso - Organ.
Shimmering Rock/Blues ballad that is incredibly complex with the sound that Tommy required. The addition of Urso's organ adds a warmth and at times an atmospheric feel that is omni-present throughout. Tommy's guitar is sublime as he lets it weep and moan as if it was a wolf baying at the moon. Heartfelt lyrics that enable Tommy to display that he is more than a belter and the phrasing is on the mark. What was extremely interesting and unexpected was the Beatle-ish break that had memories of a time past flash into my mind, it was there that the concept of this song fell into place and yeah l have those memories too. Great big brooding Blues and l love it!
*** Track 4. - "Blues For KP". Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Jerry Livingston - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums.
This is a rich, moody, plaintive Blues that Tommy handles so very well. His vocals are superb, man his guitar is on another level. Why isn't he given far more credibility as a master guitarist. This becomes an epic offering as Tommy shakes, rattles, moans and  lays his soul oh so bare. It would be quite easy to overplay on this track but it is amazing and pleasing to the hear that he does not go down that road. Quite simply this is a virtuoso at work and l could imagine the facial expressions going on. Chicago Blues at it's modern best.
*** Track 5. - "Bags Of Cool". Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Jerry Livingston - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums.
Kevin Urso - Organ.
Tommy Z and the boys reignite their Rock & Roll licks and move it along. Orso compliments both Tommy's guitar and the rhythm section. Brisk but very stylish this one makes you want to dance just like your grandparents did.Again Tommy proves there are no boundaries with his music and that's the way it should be. The Blues did have a baby and they called it Rock & Roll.
*** Track 6. - "Blizzard Of Blues". Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Walter Riggo - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums, Percussion.
Kevin Urso - Organ.
Hard driving Blues/Rock that is incendiary at times as Tommy  plays off against Urso's organ. This certainly takes no prisoners and this is obviously what Tommy  set out to do, that is challenge our concepts as to what Blues is and how it works when performed with no constraints. Rock on Tommy Z we need your feel and amazing sound. Whew l'm out of breathe from trying to keep up.
*** Track 7. - "Miracles". - Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Jerry Livingston - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums, Percussion.
Kevin Urso - Organ. Another of what can be described as a trademark Tommy Z ballad. Heartfelt mesmerizing storey telling as only Tommy can. The voice may not be the best but with his music it is perfect and becomes one of many stunning facets in these diamonds. Tommy Z and his trio certainly pack a punch and happily play the second fiddle to the now established guitar maestro Tommy Z. Filled with pathos that  becomes tangible throughout this song when Tommy's guitar weeps and moans so much that is gut wrenching.
*** Track 8. - "My Eyes (Keep Me In Trouble). - Written by Herbert Walker.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Jerry Livingston - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums, Percussion.
Kevin Urso - Organ.
What l love about this is that Tommy and the trio did not turn this into a direct copy of Muddy Water's recording. That would have be pointless and a deal buster. Instead the guys re-define the sound built around Tommy's incendiary guitar and solid vocals. It can be a task too far and one that it is simply advisable not to tackle. This on the other hand is the template for doing it correctly. Every element has come together or if you like  the stars have aligned so much so that it would be quite fee sable to assume Tommy penned this one. Great groove and a great feel that would be a real show stopper.
*** Track 9. - "Al's Groove". Written by Tommy Z.
Tommy Z - Vocals, Guitar.
Jerry Livingston - Bass.
Damone Jackson - Drums, Percussion.
Kevin Urso - Organ.
Oh yeah a very very cool conclusion to the album with this Jazz/Blues instrumental that has each and everyone within the group shining. Urso produces a Hammond B# sound that lends itself so well for Tommy's expressive but restrained guitar to shine. Wow this is certainly straight from the top shelf guys. You nailed it and have given us something to really savour.
When l first place this in the cd player l was expecting the possibility of an over the top guitar slinger linking elements of Blues with a whole mess of Rock. The fact that Tommy Z's name is on the cover allayed all of those fears as he is a guitar players player. He is absolutely sublime with his tone, phrasing, sound and feel. It is quite extraordinary that he is not a house hold name but l think this album will change all of that very soon. All bar one one was penned by Tommy Z and these displayed a hard won and earned maturity  that comes from playing in no name joints in no name towns. The variation in styles is tantalising and makes this album stands out all the more. Tommy you guys hit a home run with this one, congratulations.
"If you're a blues-rock fan ready for the next big guitar hero, look no further than the amazing Tommy Z. Grade: B+ "
Rev. Keith Gordon - Blues Bites (See full review here:)
"As we go through our everyday lives, we come across a whole lot of “ordinary.” We have to endure generic cars that have no panche, aren’t sexy anymore, and in general, the romantic attachment that used to be there is gone. The cozy quality diners of yesteryear are disappearing. McDonalds fries are no longer as good as they used to be. Vinyl albums are a luxury now, and the magic of “album art” is just not there when you look at a CD cover. So when, in the course of your day-long trudge through the suffocating wilderness of “ordinary,” you come upon something exceptional, that is something to be savored and celebrated. Especially something that harkens back to style, quality, and is just plain sexy.
Well, blues fans, get ready to be wooed! Tommy Z‘s new album, Sometimes, came across our desk today, and all we can say is “Wow!” Here’s a player that has paid his dues and put in his time. He has performed with and/or played on bills with Robert Randolph, Peter Frampton, Jeff Healey, Room Full of Blues, and many more. He also toured as a member of Pinetop Perkins’ band. In addition to performing, Z also composes, produces and engineers. His competence speaks for itself.
Sometimes, issued on South Blossom Records, is everything an album should be. The musicianship of all the players is top-shelf. The writing is good, the mix is full of detail and depth, and there is not a single note that is out of place anywhere. Z’s command of the guitar is substantial and impressive. What is cool about his playing is that it exudes emotional content that is genuine. It is not contrived or exaggerated. His tone, and touch dynamics are excellent. The influences of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and Freddie King are plainly apparent.
Standout tracks on Sometimes include “Roger That,” which will have you believing that Stevie Ray Vaughan is back, with Eric Gales and Melvin Taylor tearing it up alongside him. This is a scary good track. There’s a fun Stax style rendition of Willie Dixon’s “200 lbs. of Fun,” and a lively version of Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Gangster of Love,” with an exquisite backbeat, and delightfully slow, wicked guitar lines. “Snooty Funk” is sparse, simple, grooving funk, with tasty organ fills, and round, thick, punchy guitar. A slow blues, “So Tired Of Being Lonely” is rife with crying, sweet guitar just dripping with great tone!
Tommy Z’s Sometimes brings back real guitar. This is blues that will kickstart your heart! It’s sexy, bluesy, fretboard magic; blues guitar, played the way it should be. You should bring this one home with you now. Why are you waiting?"

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…”I like my blues on the traditional side.” That said, In the case of Tommy Z, I was blown away pretty much right from the start. When the opening number played and it was reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix I was a bit scared. I love Hendrix with a passion and always have but, when I want to hear Jimi I’ll put on the album. When the band broke into Willie Dixon’s “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” retrofitted to 200 Pounds of Heavenly Joy to fit Tommy’s stature, I was pleasantly surprised and then some. Maybe this is not a one trick pony. Follow that with the classic Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Gangster of Love” and my fears were a bit more abated. “Old Love” pretty much stole my heart. Tommy Z is an artist with multiple talents. The remaining six tunes on the album were all penned by Tommy. Here is where we see the man’s true colors. A superb guitarist, well-rooted in the blues and intelligent enough to understand that a million notes a minute does not equal greatness. Often what is not played is as important if not more so than what you do play. As the album progressed I grew more and more impressed. Not only can the guy play, he has a sense of style and can play both passion and finesse. It takes more than fast fingers to impress me and Tommy Z has what it takes. Having been called a “Blues Nazi” when it comes to the blues I know what I like and am not easily swayed. Guitar lovers will find this one to be a real treat. When it comes to his guitar work, Tommy can not only play with technical perfection, he can cut loose playing straight from the heart with genuine emotional power. – Bill Wilson (See full review here:)

"An absolutely glorious Blues offering of the absolute highest standing...An eye and ear opener. Tommy Z and his band might not be known here in Australia but man that is quickly going to change...The talent on display on this album is top shelf." ""Sometimes"...Now this is a Blues ballad to savour; stunning and understated, delicious in it's execution." ""Gangster Of Love"...Many a time we listen to a cover of a classic and shake our head saying "why did you bother?" But here we say "why not?" as Tommy wrings everything out of the song as he re-interprets (it) his way. The basics are there (as they have to be) but look out he takes no prisoners with this version." ""So Tired Of Being Lonely"..another stunning Blues ballad." ""I Got Your Back"...every member of the band shines through with an incredible performance." ""Tommy'z Boogie"...a great way to finish what is an outstanding album." ""Roger That"...This is from a NY native, so where did he find this groove from?"
— Peter Merrett, PBS106.7 Melbourne, Australia

“I just received the newest recording, Sometimes, by Tommy Z and it's killer!! First I've got to tell you that I wasn't earlier familiar with Tommy's work and if you aren't, it's high time!..flaming white hot and readily fills the void for original hot guitar riffs that have been missing for a lot of years now. Here's a recommendation from me, Buy this! Don't wait to find it used on ebay! This is a great cd!”
Bman - Bman's Blues Report  (See full review here:)

Tommy Z has been a part of the Western New York music scene since he was a teenager, having won so many local honors as a guitarist and performer that he was basically “retired” by being induced into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2007, therefore becoming ineligible for further awards. He has made numerous trips overseas to entertain US troops (his father is a Vietnam vet), and has composed music for film, TV, sports (the victory song for the St. Louis Blues).

Sometimes (South Blossom Records) is Tommy Z’s second album and shows the guitarist to be as gifted a songwriter and vocalist as he is a guitarist. He’s not afraid to tackle current issues, as heard on “Livin’ In A Blue State,” or the regular blues topics, such as lost love (the slow burner, “So Tired of Being Lonely”). He also holds his own with blues/rock (“I Got Your Back”) and R&B (the ironic title track).

There’s also three instrumentals……. “Roger That,” a solid rocker with traces of SRV throughout, the seriously funky “Snooty Funk” (with a shot of “Norwegian Wood” tossed in), and the no-holds-barred closer, “Tommy’z Boogie.” Three cover tunes round out the set….”200 Lbs. of Joy,” a slimmed down take on the Willie Dixon classic, Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Gangster of Love,” and a tender reading of Eric Clapton’s “Old Love.”

Guitar fans will definitely get their geek on to Tommy Z’s latest…there’s some fantastic string bending going on, for sure…but there’s much more to enjoy with a great set of original songs and some terrific covers of classic blues.

--- Graham Clarke

"Anyone looking for a new guitar hero that won't let them down need look no further than this comer that won't take no for an answer. Hot, hard and heavy, this white boy has soul, pouring it into and wringing it out of his strings. Killer stuff fully plugged into the cosmic buzz." (See full review here:)

Niagara Gazette — Even though The Tommy Z Band didn't win the competition to open at Eric Clapton's music festival this year, the contest really helped the band to reach out to new fans.
"It's been a win-win for us," said band leader, who goes by the name Tommy Z. His band beat out more than 2,500 other bands to make it into the top 100 for the chance to open at Clapton's Crossroads in April, but lost the top spot to a solo singer last Friday. Des pite that, the bands' fans got behind them and helped to generate more attention for their music through the competition's social media outreach. "We got our music out to a lot more people," Tommy Z said. "Traffic on our Facebook page increased by over 150 percent."
The band will celebrate their new CD, "Sometimes" at a CD release party at 9 p.m. at the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls on Friday. Dave Miller of Dive House Union will open for the band at 8 p.m.
"We've been described at a 'soul rockin' blues band,'" said Tommy Z who, prior to starting the band in 1995, played with The Hurricanes and toured with bluesman Pine Top Perkins.
The Tommy Z band, which includes Damone Jackson, a drummer who played with Rick James and Stefanie Mills, and Buffalo Music Hall of Famer, Jerry Livingston, has performed thoughout the region, including at the Seneca Niagara Casino, and Thursday at the Harbor in Buffalo.
The band's first CD was called "Universal Love," and was the centerpiece of their 2003 performances touring war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq and American military bases throughout Europe. The new CD invokes blues rockers like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, Tommy J said, adding, "There's a nod to tradition, but it also embraces the present sound of contemporary blues with elements of funk and rock and soul."

“One of Western New York’s best-kept secrets is an exceptional guitarist and vocalist Tommy Z. With a unique blend of Rock N’ Roll fused Blues, the new CD “Universal Love” proves to be a refreshing listen. The Tommy Z Band is subtle with their delivery, yet each track is in your face with soulful lyrics and sizzling performances from each of the talented personnel in the band. The opening track ‘Almost Heaven’ is a wonderful example of Tommy’s exceptional vocals and guitar slinging. A beautiful love song, lyrically and musically, it paves the mood for the whole disc. ‘The Lovin’ I Miss’ is a stellar, modern Blues track, complete with horns courtesy of The Salvation Horns featuring Jazz legend, Chu Nero. Reminiscent of older R&B, this stand out track is fun, funky and very hot. Leaning a little on the heavier side, ‘Justice’ is a radio friendly track, one that would be a great addition to a road trip mix. My favorite track on here is ‘Watered Down Love’.. It ”
Sarah French - Blues Onstage/Blues Matters Magazine

“NORTHRIDGE, CALIFORNIA, June 8, 2005 — In a tour of historic proportions, blues/ rock artist Tommy Z played more than 20 shows over 30 days throughout the Middle East as part of a USO/AFE tour in support of troops stationed in the region. Thanks in part to the portability of the JBL EON system, the tour was an overwhelming success.”
Tim McGee - JBL Pubs./Mix Magazine

"Guitarist Tommy Z will bring the blues to several U.S. military areas in Japan this month during his Armed Forces Tour of the Pacific Rim..."

Tommy Z, voted 2003 Top Male Blues Vocalist in western New York at the Buffalo Music Awards, will be jamming for servicemembers at Camp Zama, Camp Fuji, Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Sasebo Naval Base, Akizukui Army Amunition Depot and Sagami General Depot..."

“Jeff Healey and our own Tommy Z add guitar muscle to “When A Blind Man Cries” with help from Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord. ”
Bob Silvestri - Best of

“Playing the Blues straight out of the Austin school of Stevie Ray Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, he showed how to take other artists songs and turn them into your own. His muscular body behooves the way he plays, as he tore off straight runs up and down the neck of the guitar or played behind his back or with his teeth. The band's 90-minute set was sprinkled with cuts from such luminaries as Freddie King and The Meters among others and proved a great way to start The Guitar Festival. Let’s pass the torch to Tommy Z. and a whole new generation of blues players.”
Bob Silvestri - Best of