Tommy Benford

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Tommy Benford
Birth nameThomas Benford
Born(1905-04-19)April 19, 1905
Charleston, West Virginia
DiedMarch 24, 1994(1994-03-24) (aged 88)
Mount Vernon, New York
InstrumentsDrum kit
Associated actsJelly Roll Morton

Thomas Benford (April 19, 1905 – March 24, 1994)[1][2][3] was an American jazz drummer.


Tommy Benford was born in Charleston, West Virginia.[1][2] He and his older brother, tuba player Bill Benford, were both orphans who studied music at the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina.[4] He went on tour with the school band, traveling with them to England in 1914.[4]

In 1920, he was working with the Green River Minstrel Show.[4] Benford recorded with Jelly Roll Morton[5] in 1928 and 1930. He also played with Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and Eddie South.[4][5]

Benford died on March 24, 1994, at Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, New York.[2]


  1. ^ a b Carr, Peter; Vollmer, Al; Wright, Laurie. "Have Drum, Will Travel: An Interview with Tommy Benford". Monrovia Sound Studio. Storyville. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  2. ^ a b c Watrous, Peter (1994-03-29). "Tommy Benford, Jazz Dummer, 88; Played With Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  3. ^ Benford gives April 19, 1905 as his date of birth, and obituaries indicate he died at age 88. allmusic gives 1895 as year of birth.
  4. ^ a b c d Chadbourne, Eugene. Tommy Benford at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  5. ^ a b "Jazz At Gravesite…Fulfill Wish 68 Years Later". The Western Queens Gazette. 1985-04-10. Retrieved 2012-03-22.