Tom Rippey was a traditional jazz Renaissance Man. He supported the music at so many different levels that he was a self-contained jazz revival.
As board member and music director of the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society (PSTJS), Tom brought the best vintage/classic jazz bands in North America to Seattle. He booked local jobs for the bands to go with the jazz club appearances, transported the musicians to and from SEA-TAC and often put them up in his home.
With his loving wife Carol, Tom supported local musicians by attending their regular (and special) gigs and, without exception, purchased food and drink at the performance venues.
Over the years, Tom bought hundreds of recordings (at least) by contemporary traditional bands. With assistance from his brother, Dick, and fellow jazz booster, John Ochs, Tom also produced several wonderful CDs that were released on the Triangle label.
At a recording session, Tom was not only the producer; he was also the A&R man and caterer. He did everything possible to make the recording experience pleasant and even fun for the musicians.
At home, he was an enthusiastic listener, whether the session was recorded in 1923 or the previous week, and he took a paternal pride in listening to recordings featuring musicians from the Pacific Northwest.
In addition to his love of jazz, Tom had a variety of interests outside music. Visiting musicians were often treated to trainwatching excursions, a visit to the Museum of Flight and/or a Mariners baseball game. After becoming acquainted with Tom and Carol, a musician traveling to Seattle to play for PSTJS was more than likely to view the weekend as a family reunion!
On March 11, traditional jazz musicians lost one of our best friends. We will never forget you, Mr. Rippey!