Tommy Campbell grew up outside of Philadelphia in a musical environment. His father was an organist and singer, and his uncle is Jimmy Smith, the renowned Hammond B-3 ace. Reminiscing, Tommy says,
"I was surrounded by music and drummers from the time I was two years old. My father and drummer Mickey Roker would rehearse at the house a lot and whenever Uncle Jimmy had a new record he was releasing, he'd come over with a prerelease copy. We would listen to it together as a family. I used to play along with those records for hours."
He has been inspired by legendary drummers such as the late great Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, the late great Art Blakey, and the late great Tony Williams and has earned himself a well-deserved reputation as one of Jazz's leading talents. He has performed as a regular member with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, John McLaughlin, The Manhattan Transfer, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Jordan, Tania Maria, Gary Burton, and a host of other Jazz greats.