Tamboura Baptiste

-Cocktail Violinist Extraodinaire





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A drawing of me while street performing in Burbank, CA - July, 2016


I was born in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1976. My mom, June Baptiste, was born in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and dad, Trevor, the Trinidad, West Indies. My younger brother, Brandon, and mom currently continue to reside in New York City while I live in Los Angeles continuing to pursue the dream of making it in the entertainment business. I grew up in a single parent household. Mom raised us two boys on her own on a middle class income. Though the kids around me and my brother always seemed to be "hangin' out" in the neighborhood, there would be little to no "hangin' out" with us. Things for my brother and I were pretty much school, practicing music, and helping out around the house.


After a brief stint in the New York City public school system, I started attending the Dalton school for the 1st grade. I would then attend the Hotchkiss boarding school (Lakeville, CT) for my high school education. For my violin studies I attended the Third Street Music school on the corner of 10th street and 2nd avenue. I also attended music camps during summers - Kinhaven (Weston, VT) and Interlochen (Interlochen, MI).


Though there was pretty strict supervision in regards to my violin playing, Mom recalls that she never really had to push me that much - even on those notorious long-practice Sundays when she made me and my brother practice for up to 4 hours!!. I always seemed to willingly oblige. I recall my recitals at the Third Street school being the first real significant step towards truly believing I had a talent playing violin. These recitals required 30-45 minutes of "just you" on the stage and under the lights!! The audience is all there for only YOU! - Family, friends, students, and the teacher. My Third Street School teacher was Alice Kanack. During my high school years at Hotchkiss boarding school in Connecticut, my teacher was Betty Jean Hagen.

"...Tamboura was also very professional and extremely reliable. He showed up on time and knew exactly where to go and what to do. We have received so many compliments from our family and guests for the beautiful music that played throughout our ceremony. We definitely recommend Tamboura for ANY event!" - Julian Nasserian (client - Mar. 2015)

Street Performing in Santa Monica, July, 2011

During my senior year in high school, I was accepted into the New York Youth Symphony. I traveled from my boarding school in Connecticut to NYC once a week to rehearse with the orchestra. 


I should note that I also loved sports growing up. I was an avid Basketball player, adoring the sport and dreaming of being professional. But the basketball thing wasn't my calling. Untimely injuries and simply fate itself intervened. After high school, I attended Pomona college in sunny southern California where during my freshman year I was a pre-med major. Yes, at one point I wanted to be a doctor! However, it didn't take long to discover my love for acting and I decided to major in theater performance instead. While enjoying the sunny Southern California weather so far away from New York and a new type of freedom, I drifted away from playing violin and would stop playing for what amounted to nearly 13 years! During these 13 years I would pursue acting - moving to Los Angeles after graduating from Pomona College. Though a Screen Actors Guild strike would bog things down tremendously in 1999, I continued on and had some success in the commercial world (you can view a Volvo commercial I was in on my "videos" page).


One day after many many ups and downs through those 13 years of pursuing the Hollywood dream, I looked at the violin case I had toted with me all those years and decided to play it for "kicks" - just wanting to fill the apartment with music on a Sunday morning. Though of course very rusty, the ability was still there. A few months after picking it back up, networking with some other string players, and playing for a couple weddings, I decided to try being a musician full time. I have fulfilled that goal and have since then not looked back!