Tom Benzon

Actor, Musician

New York, United States
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1. RUN'N'HIDE - Cool Shakes

A soulful explosion of Rock'n'Roll and R'n'B

Physical Details

180 cm / 5ft 11in
Eye color:
80 kg / 176 lbs
Hair color:
White / Caucasian
Hair length:
Skin color:
Hair type:
78 cm / 31in


  • Tom Benzon & The Cool Shakes : Tour, recording sessions, working on a new album
  • Jack Savoretti, Cool Shakes : Studio recording sessions, touring
  • Alexia Coley : Played guitar for Alexia Coley, top UK's soul singer.
  • "A Night Like No Other" (Philip Silcock) - due out in 2014 : Black & White Art House film
  • "Smash & Grab - The Story of The Pink Panthers" (Havana Marking)-BBC & BFI (British Film Institute) : "Mike", main character
  • Jack Savoretti : Played Doublebass at festivals (Glastonbury, T In The Park, Hard Rock Calling, Cornbury, Smooth Radio On The Waterfront, and more). TV appearances (BBC1, C4) Also Bass and Lead Guitar in the the single "Blood on My Hands"
  • "The Comedian" (Feature Film by Tom Shkolnik) : Playing Elisa Lasowski's guitarist / band member, friend
  • Jack Savoretti (recorded double bass, bass and some lead guitar for his album "Before The Storm") : Doublebass with his band, The Dirty Romantics, live on TV / Radio ( Sky1, BBC Radio London Live Sunday Night Sessions) and on tour (selling out the likes of Scala, London); touring with Jools Holland (including the Royal Albert Hall)
  • Lucinda Belle : Played guitar and some double bass on her new album recorded at Toe Rag Studios , due out in 2014, and recorded "Going Nowhere" (Oscar nominated in 2014, Original Song Award) for the film "For No Good Reason" with Johnny Depp
  • "In The Land of Blood and Honey" (Angelina Jolie) : Acting and recording guitars for 4 songs of the soundtrack.
  • SAE Institute, Middlesex University : Filmmaking Degree. Acted with and directed actress Elisa Lasowski
  • 2005 to 2011 original band member of Congo Faith Healers : Touring the world with this cult Band, working with producer Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones, INXS, Cult, Duran Duran, Peter Frampton..); recorded Congo's first album Ju Ju Mix
  • Rock Therapy, Malehookers, Kojoti, Cool Shakes : Full Time Musician with Serbian and Croatian bands


Acting experience

Previous paid speaking roles

  • English
  • German
  • Russian

  • UK English
  • USA New York
  • USA Southern
  • French
  • Italian
  • Latin American
  • Mexican
  • Russian
  • Spanish

After my BA in Filmmaking I was involved in number of various productions.

As a musician I am a natural in front of the camera (numerous music videos, hundreds of TV appearances, My band was one of my Country's biggest in the '90s: Kojoti (and also Cool Shakes).with Croatian and Serbian roots, grew up in Belgrade: I can put on an authentic Eastern (South) European accent. I speak: Serbian, Croatian, English, Russian (not fluently), German/ Swiss German.

With my old school tattoos and experience of observing the 'Balkan gangster' type of characters, I can transform into one of them, with tough, Slavic flavour.
This helped me get a major role in HAVANA MARKING's (director of 'Afghan Star', Sundance film festival winner) new film 'Smash and Grab' (BBC Storyville and UK Film Council, 2011) about the Pink Panthers, glorified Balkan diamond robbers (Premiere in London at the East End Film Festival on 27 June 2013; in New York on 31 July 2013).

The film is partially animated (rotoscoping): they aged me a bit adding wrinkles and my tattoos were easily hidden too.

Trailer : -
Another clip: -
Facebook page: -

- Film release date in US:
- Film review by Scott Foundas (Chief Film Critic, VARIETY):
- Film review by Frank Schleck (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER): " 'Mike' (Tomislav Benzon) [...] describe(s) the gang's activities in great deal and touches of dry humor."

I also work as a voice over actor.
My profile video by Blockmedia, a production company I did various voice over jobs for:

20 years of professional musicianship made me into what I am, so roles which require musicians are perfect too.
Cast by GAIL STEVENS for ANGELINA JOLIE's directorial debut, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey', playing a guitarist who ends up killed.
I also helped with the arrangements and recorded guitars on 4 songs for the film soundtrack.


Guitar ability


Bass Guitar ability


Double Bass ability


Vocal ability

Lead singer

Vocal range


Singing styles
  • Rock

Favourite genres
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Country

Releasing my first singe for the upcoming solo album, Blue Train. A duet with Duska Brcic Susak (aka Luna DE Longpre) song which is a true story which I have written in a real blue train, sometimes in the early 90*s. Its about teenage suffering for the loss of first love, loss of home, all that being destroyed by the war which was raging...It affected all the innocent young people and when *normal *youth in *normal countries* was 18, 19 and just starting their lives, we were running for our lives, from the war, from being drafted, from not wanting to be part of devils own plan for destruction and ultimate suffering. Innocence was ripped out of our hearts and souls, marked us for life...
Song has a deep meaning and importance to me, you can see it as a first video, featured here.

Contsant traveling to USA, riding on my Harley Davidson motorcycle cross country, lived in LA where Ive collected inspiration for the album...
Travelling across this wonderful, amazing land brought a new hope, new light and desire to move on fast with creating, fighting for my dreams.

Meeting and collaborating with various US artists, from California to NYC, from blues and Rock n Roll, to Hip Hop... Variety, a spice of Life!

Playing, touring Europe and promoting Ana Curcin*s debut album. Most of the reviews called it \*the album of the year* in Serbia, Croatia...

Working on finishing my long time coning solo album... Working with some of the finest musicians in Serbia,Croatia... Gigging extensively in that part of the world for a change, after some 10, 15 years of not being home. TV, and radio performances on daily basis...

Discovering young Croatian jewel, 18 year old girl that has it all! Incredible voice, talent, looks, stage presence, Duska Brcic Susak!... Met Duska as being a judge on a first international singing competition in Serbia where i was one of the judges. Instantly chemistry and magic was there and we started rehearsing...

2014, _2015
Had to take a break, motorcycle crash stopped me down in my tracks... Training and comfort of home and support of best friends slowly got me back on my feet. Literally ...Bones healed!

2012 - 2013:
with JACK SAVORETTI's band, The Dirty Romantics (Doublebass)
"Lifetime" ( ) is played daily on BBC Radio2 A & B playlists, Smooth FM and across Europe, like the previous 4 singles. Some tunes from the album were in One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, Vampire Diaries.
Sir Terry Wogan, Graham Norton, Jo Whiley, among others promote our album frequently on radio. On top 20 Indie charts, the album reached number 1 and is currently number 5.

Played guitar with soul diva Alexia Coley...

2012-13: Toured the UK twice, selling out in every town in venues like the Jazz Café (Camden, London); Madame Jo- Jo's (Soho, London), Scala (London). Also Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and major UK Festivals (Hard Rock Calling,Glastonbury,T In The Park. One of the biggest UK tour was with Jooles Holland, selling venues like Royal Albert Hall...

- Sunday Brunch (Channel 4)
- BBC Breakfast (BBC1) -
- Live on the Sunday Night Sessions (BBC London 94.9) -
- New Britannia (Sky Atlantic), hosted by Morgan Spurlock (from Supersize me!);
- Got to Dance (Sky1),live with dancer Adam Garcia tap dancing -
- Mark LaMarr show (BBC 2), of the year with Congo Faith Healers
And many more...

I worked on ANGELINA JOLIE's directorial début, "In The Land of Blood and Honey".
As well as appearing as a musician in the film, I recorded the music for it: 4 songs (guitar).
with the band 'Dado Dzihan and Waves and Patterns' (created specifically for this this film). One of our first official gigs was at the première on 23th of December 2011.

In the '90s I lived in Croatia and played guitar for the rock band KOJOTI: 3 albums with Warner Bros, a dozen of number 1 singles, numerous TV and radio appearances.
I then fronted my my own band (vocals and guitar),THE COOL SHAKES (signed by Dinaton / Sony BMG Croatia), and we had an album out. At the time I was touring Europe extensively.

2006-2011: with SONNY WEST and THE CONGO FAITH HEALERS (playing doublebass), a culturally diverse band, unusual style mix: gypsy swing, blues, Cuban and Latin grooves with r'n'r mixed with my own South Europoean musical heritage. Worked with producer CHRIS KIMSEY. KT TUNSTAL and FRANZ FERDINAND were big fans.
'The best of the year' (BBC2 and MARK LaMARR - we performed live twice on his show).
'Amongst the '10 top UK bands you must see!' (The Independent)

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