Tomlinson did not study music formally until well into his 20s. He played saxophone and ran a band as a hobby whilst studying for his degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at University College, Oxford. It was only after graduating and finding himself drawn to London ’s jazz scene that he enrolled at the Guildhall School Of Music in 1990. It was at the Guildhall that his musical and romantic relationship with Stacey blossomed.
Since then, Tomlinson has worked in a wide variety of groups, from Brian Ferry to experimental big band composer, Michael Garrick. His own quartet has appeared at clubs and festivals across Europe. Most recently, he has toured almost exclusively with Stacey in Europe, USA and the Far East, reserving time to perform in a quintet dedicated to the music of Lester Young with fellow saxophonist and Guildhall graduate, Mark Crooks.
When not performing, Jim shares his passion for skiing with Stacey, a sport at which they both excel. Only touring commitments in Japan in March 2006 prevented them from racing in the Nastar US Championships for which they both qualified this season.
Tomlinson’s most recent CD, The Lyric (2005) features Stacey Kent extensively and is the first release on his own record label, Token. The album recently hit the charts in Poland, France, Spain, Hong Kong and the UK. The Lyric featuring Stacey Kent has also just been awarded “Album of the Year” at the 2006 BBC Jazz Awards, announced 13th July 2006.
The Lyric will be released in the USA in September 2006.