Tom Prasada-Rao

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A highly-rhythmic approach to the acoustic guitar is combined with soulful vocals and well-crafted lyrics by Baltimore-based singer-songwriter Tom Prasada-Rao. A popular performer in the Washington, D.C.…
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Artist Biography by

A highly-rhythmic approach to the acoustic guitar is combined with soulful vocals and well-crafted lyrics by Baltimore-based singer-songwriter Tom Prasada-Rao. A popular performer in the Washington, D.C. area since the early-1990s, Prasada-Rao has been increasingly building a much wider following. The winner of a WAMMIE (Washington area music association) award as "Best Male vocalist - folk traditional of 1994", Prasado-Rao was called, by Billboard magazine, "the most compelling presence to emerge in the singer-songwriter genre".

The son of Indian parents who were living in Africa, Prasada-Rao grew up in Washington, D.C.. Studying violin at the age of seven, Prasada-Rao went on to study piano. While in high school, he switched to the guitar as a way to overcome his "shyness and make new friends".

After attending college in England and India, Prasada-Rao returned to the Washington, D.C. area and played with two local bands--Mantle and Traveler's Crossroads. As a solo singer-songwriter, Prasada-Rao has continued to craft a unique sound by blending pop, R&B and world music influences.

Prasada-Rao's hard work paid off in 1993 when he was a winner of the "New Folks" competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. Together with two other winners, Tom Kimel and Michael Lille, Prasada-Rao formed a "singer-songwriter supergroup", Shepas, that has periodically toured throughout The United States.

In addition to maintaining a busy career as a performer, Prasada-Rao has been involved with several politically-oriented groups including The Committee for Creative Non-Violence, Art With A Heart and The Midwest Flood Victim Relief.