Tom Avgenicos is a well-known fixture in the Sydney jazz scene, both as an improviser and a composer. His refined and exploratory palette of sounds make him a sought-after musician across a range of creative projects in Australia. As a sideman, he has worked alongside celebrated Australian jazz musicians such as Mike Nock, Barney McAll, Matt McMahon and Ten Part Invention. In addition, Tom leads his own original projects including Delay 45, Tuckerbox (co-led with Melbourne trombonist Josh Bennier) and The Avgenicos Brothers (co-led with brother, Michael). Tom was a runner-up in the National Jazz Awards (brass).
Avgenicos first fell in love with jazz when his mother brought home one of (jazz educator) Jamey Aebersold’s popular ‘play-a-long’ music method books. Tom and his older brother, (acclaimed tenor saxophonist) Michael, would play along with the CD, attempting to improvise. Their father – a jazz fan, introduced them to artists such as Joshua Redman, Australian jazz-fusion band DIG (directions in groove) and Miles Davis.
Avgenicos’ high school fostered a love for music with many performance opportunities, including international tours to Europe and the USA. He was fortunate to be mentored by legendary Australian jazz trumpeter Warwick Alder. His tuition excelled Avgenicos’ jazz and improvisation skills from a young age, evidenced by Tom competing as a two-time finalist in the James Morrison GIJ scholarship competition whilst still in high school.
In 2017, Avgenicos was Sydney Improvised Music Association's (SIMA) Sonic Futures artist, and was a runner-up in the prestigious National Jazz Awards (Brass), held at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival.
In 2018, Avgenicos graduated with a first-class honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he studied under Phil Slater, Warwick Alder, Matt McMahon and Mike Rivett. He was the recipient of Sydney University’s ‘George and Margaret Henderson Scholarship’, a ‘Global Mobility Scholarship’ and was awarded ‘Outstanding Jazz Musician of the Year’ from the Sydney Conservatorium Association.
Avgenicos has led his own ensemble Delay 45 on an international tour of Europe, where the group performed in Cologne, Berlin, Amsterdam and Siena, and received mentorship from a selection of the world’s finest improvising musicians including Jonas Burgwinkel, Mike Majkowski, Ben Van Gelder, Reinier Baas, Ralph Alessi, Shane Endsley, Kenny Werner, Jeff Ballard and Matt Penman. This tour was significant in shaping Delay 45’s improvisational language.
In 2019, the ensemble released their debut album big ears. Delay 45 have been invited to perform at some of Australia's leading festivals and programs including the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Sydney Improvised Music Association's (SIMA) Jazz:NOW Wired and Great Southern Nights. The group have quickly gained recognition among peers, critics and audiences as a unique emerging Australian jazz voice. Sydney Morning Herald described the group as a “bold new chapter in Australian jazz”. Delay 45 recently recorded their 2nd album Flux, set for release in 2021.
In May 2020, Avgenicos released his second album as leader with Tuckerbox, a collaborative project with Melbourne trombonist Josh Bennier. Their debut album Dasch features creative young Sydney and Melbourne musicians and explores the earthy textures available in a chord-less ensemble within the realm of contemporary jazz and improvisation.
In September 2020, Tom released Treading Water, the debut album from The Avgenicos Brothers, a project co-led with his older brother Michael. This debut embodies the brothers’ lifelong musical dialogue amongst a love of modern jazz, groove and electronic sound scapes.