Tinkertunes : Tom Kaufmann

Tom Kaufmann is an entertainer, wire sculptor, instrument builder and music educator, living in Traverse City, Michigan.

Tom’s Bio

He’s currently appearing in the Beacon Lounge at the top of the Historic Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan.

Performance Schedule

When not performing, his creative efforts have recently focused on the construction of a series of unusual outdoor musical instruments , and he has exhibited his work at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids in 2012 and 2013 .

His 2013 entry, KinderBells, the Musical Flower Garden, has been purchased by the Garden Club of Cadillac, Michigan, and will be installed in that city’s sound garden this spring.

His 2012 entry The JunkYard Music Box finished in the top 4% of public voting, and like all of his work, was dedicated to the promotion of Early Childhood Music Education.

In 2009, Tom was commissioned to construct the Earth Tones Musical Garden at Raven Hill Discovery Center, in East Jordan, Michigan. The project involved creating six different musical sculptures including a lithophone and friction harp. This video demonstrates some of the instruments:

In 2001 Tom began a new career as a sculptor, when he designed a musical wire sculpture called Your Name Rings a Bell. Since then he has created an ever expanding collection of whimsical wire figures, three dimensional doodles, and customized mobiles. You can see his work, and hear an original composition, in this video:

His Upright Furniture Company salvages pianos headed to landfills, and repurposes them into stunning and unique furniture. They been featured in several publications including The Detroit News, Traverse Magazine, and The Record Eagle.

In addition to a busy performance schedule, Tom continues to compose and record his original music.

He is also the owner of Tinkertunes Music Studios in Traverse City, which he opened in 1995. His Traveling Musical Instrument Petting Zoo is a hands-on learning experience that has delighted thousands of students of all ages, in schools, libraries, and museums throughout the region. In October 2009 Tinkertunes travelled to Waterford, Ireland for the Imagine Arts Festival for a series of school programs and a concert.