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New York pianist Tardo Hammer is an adroit jazz musician with a bent toward sophisticated post-bop. Born in Queens in 1958, Hammer first began playing piano around age five. Although he also spent time learning clarinet and guitar, by his teens he was a dedicated pianist. In 1977, Hammer moved to Chelsea in Manhattan and began playing locally, drawing inspiration from such jazz legends as Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan, and others. During the '80s, he often worked as a sideman, performing with artists like Lou Donaldson, Art Farmer, Lionel Hampton, and Johnny Griffin. He developed further as a leader in the '90s, touring with his own trio in Europe and Japan and backing artists like Abbey Lincoln, Conte Candoli, Annie Ross, and more. As a solo artist, Hammer debuted with Bopera House (1988), followed by Hammer Time (1999). Eventually settling back in New York, Hammer's recording output increased with several albums on Sharp Nine, including Somethin' Special (2001), Tardo's Tempo (2004), and Look Stop and Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron (2007). In 2013, Hammer delivered Simple Pleasure on the Cellar Live label. Two years later, he joined cornet player Warren Vaché's quintet for Remembers Benny Carter. ~ Matt Collar
1958 in Queens, New York, NY
'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s