Tom Shaker / Roots Host

Tom Shaker shows

Tom Shaker is a professor at Dean College, where he directs the Communications Program. He grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY, the son of a plumbing contractor who was a Jazz nut. They fought like cats and dogs over the one stereo in the house until Tom realized his Dad was right, Billie Holiday IS better than Grand Funk Railroad.

He spends his weekends saving diners for the American Diner Museum and listening to all kinds of music. In addition to international travel, Tom loves hitting the road to visit music festivals, diners, drive-ins, and oddball museums. He has an extensive collection of not only Jazz, Country, Soul and Gospel, but Hawaiian, Hillbilly and early 1920’s dance band music.

Over the years, Tom worked in radio, television and film production, before pursuing his academic career, receiving a master’s degree from UMASS and a doctorate degree from Boston University. He is currently working on a book and documentary about the history of Jazz in Rhode Island. Tom’s also on the Board of Directors of the New England Jazz Alliance.


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