photo courtesy of Peter Fulop

photo courtesy of Peter Fulop

Tommy Barbarella (Keyboards)

Tours with Prince: The Gold Experience/The Ultimate Live Experience (1995/96), Japan ’96 (1996) The Interactive Tour (1994), Act II (1993), Act I (1993), Diamonds & Pearls (1992), Nude Tour (1990) 

Albums with Prince: Diamonds & Pearls, Symbol, Come, The Gold Experience, Chaos & Disorder, The Vault: Old Friends For Sale, New Power Soul, Gold Nigga, Exodus, Emancipation, Crystal Ball / The Truth 

After watching and listening to Tommy playing with one of his favorite local bands, The Steeles, Prince asked him to join his newly formed New Power Generation. But he had no idea that Prince gave him a new name (instead of Tommy Elm, he became “Tommy Barbarella”) until he was called this in a local newspaper. (Read the story here: Barbarella's reputation for excellence and versatility kept him in Prince’s band for a number of years (and returning to work with him periodically) and later, touring, recording and performing with other artists such as Art Garfunkel, Mavis Staples, Jonny Lang, Nick Jonas, Italian superstar Giorgia and local supergroup Greazy Meal. He has contributed his talents to Hollywood feature films by iconic directors like Spike Lee (Tommy co-wrote the title track of Girl 6 with Prince), Robert Altman (with the NPG on the Prêt-à-Porter soundtrack) and Marc Forrester (Monster’s Ball) - as part of Asche and Spencer Music. He has also composed a number of award-winning commercial tracks for Nike, Budweiser, Audi and others. As a session musician, his keyboard work can be heard on recordings by artists as diverse as Switchfoot, Backstreet Boys, Ziggy Marley, Love & Rockets, David Sylvian, Miley Cyrus and many more. 

As a frequent arranger and performer with the Minnesota Orchestra, Tommy’s worlds came together in September of 2016 when the Orchestra performed his orchestral arrangement of Prince’s “Purple Rain” at the critically acclaimed and stunning Prince Tribute at the halftime show's Minnesota Vikings inaugural game at U.S. Bank Stadium