Tom Abbs (born 1972) is an American multi-instrumentalist and filmmaker. He works primarily in the fields of jazz, free jazz, and free improvisation, and plays double bass, tuba, cello, violin, didgeridoo, and wooden flute, often playing several of these instruments simultaneously.
Originally from Washington state, he has lived New York City since 1991, and is based in Brooklyn, New York. He attended The New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music program, studying with Reggie Workman, Buster Williams, Joe Chambers, Brian Smith, Junior Mance, Arnie Lawrence, Chico Hamilton, and Arthur Taylor. He began his full-time performing career in 1992.
He has worked with Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Charles Gayle, Daniel Carter, Cooper-Moore, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Jr., Sabir Mateen, Ori Kaplan, Jemeel Moondoc, Assif Tsahar, Borah Bergman, Billy Bang, Andrew Lamb, and Warren Smith. Abbs is currently a member of the collective groups Triptych Myth, Yuganaut, and Transmitting (with Napoleon Maddox and Jane LeCroy). He also leads the band Frequency Response and tours with his solo multimedia project Multifarious. He has collaborated with the painter M. P. Landis.
Abbs is also the founder of the arts coalition Jump Arts, which has presented performances and workshops throughout New York City from 1997 to 2002; since that time the organization has dedicated itself to artist services through fiscal sponsorship and media services.
He was the general manager of ESP-Disk from 2007 to 2010 and founded Northern Spy Records in the fall of 2010 which he co-owns with Adam Downey.
With Roscoe Mitchell
- Four Ways (Nessa, 2009 )
With Tryptych Myth
- The Beautiful (AUM Fidelity, 2005)