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Ross Tompkins, 68; Longtime Pianist for 'Tonight Show' Band

July 01, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ross Tompkins, 68, a pianist who played with Doc Severinsen's "Tonight Show" band for more than 20 years, died of lung cancer Thursday in St. Augustine, Fla., according to his partner and friend trumpeter/vocalist Jack Sheldon.

A native of Detroit, Tompkins also played with a long list of noted jazz musicians including Zoot Sims, Wes Montgomery, Herb Ellis and Eric Dolphy. In recent years Tompkins and Sheldon performed in clubs in Southern California.

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