Born in Springboro, Ohio, Tommy Kessler was destined to play music. Growing up with a mother who was a classical pianist and a father that sang in church choir, Tommy's instrument of choice was guitar. Starting with a Classical background, Tommy quickly drifted into the direction of Rock 'N Roll via Randy Rhoads, Slash, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and Dimebag Darrell. This background has helped him become versatile in the studio and on the stage in various music styles.
Tommy started music as a child playing his mother’s piano before picking up the guitar at age 12. He was later accepted to study at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio but had instead chosen to continue performing on stage with several bands.
In 2002, Tommy joined the house band BillWho? at Shadowbox Cabaret in Columbus, Ohio. This experience is where he credits eventually thriving on stage and engaging with different audiences every night.
In 2004, Tommy left Shadowbox Cabaret to do one of the first regional productions of the Broadway Musical Cats. He played in the pit with his mother, who was a keyboard chair in the show. This eventually helped him meet various actors from New York City which began his decision to move to that very city.
Tommy relocated to New York City in 2005 and started doing studio work and answering Craigslist ads. His skill of learning music very quickly through sight reading and memorizing by ear helped him quickly excel in the scene.
In 2006, Tommy got his first steady gig in NYC with the word-renowned Blue Man Group where he played Zither, Guitar, Bass and The Stick. “Blue Man Group was a lot of fun and a very good experience for me to get involved in a players network in New York.”
In 2008, the opportunity came for Tommy to join the musical “Rock of Ages” as it started on Off-Broadway. Tommy continued to perform in the show’s fictional rock band “Arsenal” through its Broadway run until its end in 2015. In 2019, an Off-Broadway run of Rock of Ages returned to New York City and Tommy is currently the lead guitarist in the show.
While in New York City, Tommy has also worked with various bands and artists in his recording studio doing production sessions. Helping produce and mix albums by these bands and artists led him to cross paths with Matt Katz-Bohen, Blondie’s keyboardist. “Matt told me Blondie was looking for 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 and Clem was very exciting”. Tommy was asked to join Blondie in 2010 and has been part of the group since.