Tommy Kessler

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Tommy Kessler
Blondie MG 2550ParisVisoneedit.jpg
Kessler performing with Blondie during their 2010 Endangered Species World Tour
Background information
GenresNew wave, rock, pop, flamenco, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, songwriter
Pedal steel guitar
Lap steel guitar
Years active2003–present
Associated actsBlondie, Rock of Ages, Blue Man Group, Telling on Trixie, The Capital Mall

Tommy Kessler is an American guitarist from Springboro, Ohio, currently in the new wave band Blondie.[1]


Kessler joined Blondie in April 2010, replacing guitarist Paul Carbonara who had left Blondie during the sessions for their ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, to pursue other projects. Despite playing only on two songs Kessler was credited as a full time member in the liner notes.

Tommy was trained in classical and Latin guitar. These styles provided a great understanding of music theory and also taught him to read standard notation. Later, Tommy drifted into the direction of the hard rock masters such as Randy Rhoads, Slash, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and Dimebag Darrell. His natural talent of learning pieces very quickly by sight reading or memorizing by ear helped him quickly excel in that scene. Tommy’s first steady gig in NYC was playing in the word-renowned Blue Man Group where he played Zither, Guitar, bass and The Stick. He has also been part of the band in the New York City of Blue Man Group since 2006.[2][3]

Tommy Kessler also performs as a guitarist in the fictional 1980s rock band Arsenal in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages,[1] a member since it opened off Broadway in 2008. His abilities have resulted in a reputation for excellence that has led to Tommy becoming a highly sought after session guitarist in NYC since moving there in 2005.[4]

Being in Rock of Ages led to him meeting Blondie. ‘Matt told me Blondie needed a new guitar player and he threw my name in the hat. It was really surreal. I was very familiar with Blondie’s music and the idea of playing with Debbie, Chris (Stein) and Clem (Burke) was very exciting”. Tommy was asked to join Blondie in 2010 and is still in the band.

In 2015, Tommy was asked to be a part of the “Fresh Kids Of Bel-Air” and when Blondie isn’t on the road, you can find him playing every Friday at New York City’s Le Poison Rouge in the 90’s show![5]

Tommy served as musical director for the 2011 Glamour Women of the Year Awards. He has written and produced music for The Nickelodeon Network (iCarly and Victorious).

Always mixing his musical talent with his business savvy Tommy has been able to make the most of his opportunities in the studio to maximize his production quality, yielding premium track recordings. For example, Tommy has mixed Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake/Night Ranger's) 2015 release entitled "Joel Hoekstra's 13: Dying to Live."[6]

Since 2013 he has often worn on stage for Blondie a denim jacket made for him by British artist Ian Berry who is known for his art in denim.[7]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Blondie". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  4. ^ "Tommy Kessler". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  5. ^ "INTERVIEW: Tommy Kessler (Blondie) - Gigslutz". Gigslutz. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  6. ^ B, Kathy. "INTERVIEW: Tommy Kessler (Blondie)". Gigslutz.
  7. ^ Atkinson, Neil (2014-05-28). "Huddersfield artist Ian Berry provides denim tribute to 70s star Debbie Harry". huddersfieldexaminer. Retrieved 2018-07-03.

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