Already a consistent live performer and musician, Tommy Barbarella was sought out by Prince after seeing him perform with The Steeles at age 22. This changed the trajectory of Tommy’s career and he played keyboard for The New Power Generation, Prince’s Elite band, from 1990-1996 which included numerous tours and albums. Even after The New Power Generation dissipated, Tommy was frequently asked back by Prince for various performances.
With a career marked by excellence before and after his years playing for Prince and the New Power Generation, Tommy has been making a name for himself in the Minneapolis music scene since he was 21 years old. He was hand-picked by Prince after he saw Tommy performing with local band, the Steeles. His career with Prince included numerous tours and recorded albums and live performances with Prince even after The New Power Generation was no longer together.
Tommy has been a session musician for artists in nearly every genre including Miley Cyrus, The Backstreet Boys, Swiftfoot, Love & Rockets and Ziggy Marley. His performance, touring and recording resume includes working with the likes of Mavis Staples, Nick Jonas, Giorgia and Art Garfunkel. Tommy has also lent his talents to the TV and Film industry, composing music for commercials featuring Audi, Nike and Budweiser, some of which have won awards. Tommy has also arranged and performed music with the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2016, his arrangement of Purple Rain was performed by the Minnesota Orchestra during the Prince Tribute at the Viking’s Halftime Show which was met with much praise and critical acclaim.