Tom Allen


Tom Allen is a passionate music lover, storyteller, accomplished trombonist, writer and broadcaster and brings a wealth of knowledge to CBC Music. He is thrilled to be entering his 4th decade at CBC with a new show, About Time.

Tom hosted Music and Company on CBC Music for 10 years and followed that with a second decade on Shift. Yet earlier in his long career at CBC, his weekly stories aired to a keen Ontario audience on CBC Radio One’s Fresh Air and nationally on This Morning. He has also created, with longtime collaborator Jeff Reilly, a series of dazzling single-shot videos on music and music history.

He is the creator, with his life partner, the harpist Lori Gemmell, of a series of stage shows mixing storytelling, history, classical music and original popular song. These shows include Bohemians in Brooklyn (“slickly written” and “beautifully punctuated” – Now Magazine), The Judgment of Paris, From Weimar to Vaudeville, The Last Curlew, Exosphere and The Missing Pages. These shows have received dozens of performances across the country both as live concerts and recently, in streamed video. Tom has also authored three books, most recently The Gift of the Game, a reflection on hockey and the role the game plays in the life of a divorced parent.

Allen studied at McGill University, graduated from Boston University and received a Master’s degree from Yale University. While looking for full-time work as a trombonist, he temped on Wall Street and cooked in a Mexican restaurant. In 1987, he began touring with the Great Lakes Brass until he joined CBC Radio in Halifax.

Tom lives with his wife in Toronto with their son, hoping for visits from the other kids who aren’t kids anymore. He is an avid cyclist and plays recreational hockey and basketball.