Tommy Mandel's played with Bryan Adams, Ian Hunter-Mick Ronson, David Johansen (post NY Dolls, pre-Buster Poindexter), Dire Straits, Todd Rundgren, John Waite, Little Steven and Richie Sambora , as well as done local gigs with Bo Diddley, Lou Christie, Paul Butterfield, Elaine Caswell, Darlene Love, The Chantels, Sylvain Sylvain, the Miamis and Otis Rush.
He has played on studio recordings by Tina Turner, Byran Adams, Dire Straits, The Pretenders, Bon Jovi, The B-52's, The Clash, Nils Lofgren, Shannon, The Spinners, Bel Biv Devoe, TKA, Tremaine Hawkins, AHA, Meco, Foreigner, John Waite, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Wolf of J.Geils Band fame, The Violent Femmes, Live at CBGB's, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Takanaka, Yoshihiro Osawa, Debra Blando the Brazilian Blonde, Blondie Chaplin, RichieSambora, Christine Lavin, The Payolas, Mick Ronson, Ian Hunter, and others.
Mandel scored, with Brad Feidel, the Avco Embassy film, Deadly Hero, which starred James Earl Jones and Don Murray, Up Up and Away, featuring the "All American Girls", Wunderkind, an experimental film, as well as projects for The Lifetime Network and the Fifty Naked Women Project. He scored five string quartets based on the music of Jim Steinman that were the Overture for Meatloaf's recent world tour, which premiered at the Hudson Theater in New York City.
MORE TO THE POINT here, he has written and orchestrated two full length operas, the first of which, Joe's Opera, was mounted at LaMama Theater and St. Clement's Musical Theater Lab, both in NYC, and optioned twice for Broadway production. The second piece, Sea of Simile, an Underwater Operetta, was performed at Sarah Lawrence College, where he is employed as Musical Director of their Theater Department, as well as composer and accompanist. The Sea of Simile has taken on a life of its own, and beginning with rewrites, and the recording of a few songs from it, it snowballed into a full length "Radio-Play"- a 102 minute DOUBLE CD, of the entire soundtrack. It features really good singers, and Mandel played virtually all the orchestrations.
He has also composed and recorded jingles for Antonovich Furs (sorry), Gorton's Fish Stix, Fa bath soaps, and The City of St. Louis Tourism Bureau, as well as played as a sideman on campaigns for Coke, Cadillac, Promise, New York Telephone, Starburst, Chemical Bank, and Chevrolet, among others.
London, Berlin, Paris, South Africa and Australia, Pavarotti's Festival in Italy, Rolling Stones tour dates, and the Far East including Vietnam, India, Baharain, Thailand, Hong Kong, Maylasia, Korea, and Japan (for the tenth time), all miss Mr. Mandel. He hasn't been back lately. However, another movie soundtrack, TV work, and successful distribution of his New Music collections, as well as eventual productions, live or animated, of his two Poperas, are the events "on the edge of sea and sky", to which he is irresistibly being drawn.