Tom Pinit
Tom Pinit
Music. Travel. Life.
Tom band profile.jpeg

Hi, I’m Tom Pinit. Music. Travel. Life.


MUSIC was an essential part of my childhood growing up. I started learning violin through the Suzuki method at the age of four, and participated in private lessons, band camps, and youth orchestras through high school. The classical training I received morphed (rebelled?) into playing electric bass and singing in a college rock band in New York City. I currently play the bandolim (Brazilian mandolin) in Choro da Alegria and Alma Brasileira, two local Brazilian music bands, and lead the second mandolin section in the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra (yes, that’s a thing!). You can learn more under the Music tab.

In November of 2011 I started the Choro Music Project, a SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP using a portion of my Brazilian music profits to help small businesspeople around the world. I accomplish this by funding microloans through Kiva.

My love for TRAVEL (some call it wanderlust) started at a very young age. Commercial aviation has been a passion of mine ever since I was a child dreaming of sitting in the pilot’s seat. My parents used to take us to visit extended family in Thailand every three or four years. I have a hazy recollection of crossing the English Channel. We’d take long road trips down the East Coast to Florida, or to visit friends across the country.

This love of discovery of other faraway places naturally fell hand-in-hand with LANGUAGE LEARNING. I grew up in a bilingual household speaking native English and Thai as well. Not to say that I’m fluent, but I have really enjoyed dabbling over the years in Portuguese, Italian, French, Spanish, and now Esperanto!. I am a firm believer in multilingualism, and we decided to send both our sons to the Arco Iris Spanish Immersion Charter School in Beaverton, Oregon.


Choro Music Project



The Choro Music Project (CMP) uses the power of music to change the world, one grace note at a time.

What is the Choro Music Project?

The CMP is a social entrepreneurship that invests in rural and poor entrepreneurs around the globe through microfinancing. The concept of microfinancing involves making small business loans available to people who otherwise would not be able to access funding through traditional economic means.

How Does Microfinancing Work?

We are partnering with the microfinance non-profit Kiva, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Borrowers make loan requests through various field partners located in-country. Kiva collects money from investors (e.g., CMP) to fulfill the loan and transfers the funds to the field partners for disbursement to the borrower. The borrower agrees to repay the loan to the field partner over time. Those repayments are sent back to Kiva and returned to the investors, at which time the money is available to be re-invested in another loan or withdrawn from Kiva. You can learn more about the process on Kiva’s website, or by watching the short video below.

(How Kiva Works from Kiva on Vimeo)

This “revolving loan” feature of Kiva’s microfinancing is one of the most desirable aspects of the program. Kiva’s repayment rate is nearly 99%. This means that any money loaned by CMP will almost always be returned to CMP to be invested in another entrepreneur. Kiva provides these low-income businessmen and women a “hand up” rather than a “hand out”, empowering them to make a living for themselves and their families.

Our Role

The CMP will invest a portion of profits made from our music, including gigs, events, and CD and merchandise sales. The minimum amount to be invested in a Kiva loan is $25. Once the loan is repaid, the funds are available to be re-invested again or withdrawn for business purposes, in order to promote and broaden the impact of the CMP.

Our goal is to be invested in every country in the world in which Kiva has field partners. Currently, Kiva is operating in 82 countries. This will provide a truly global reach for CMP.

The CMP strives to be as transparent as possible while making a difference in the world. All CMP funds have been re-invested through Kiva to date.

Our Impact (as of Dec. 19, 2018)

  • 303 loans made

  • $7,190 total lent since inception

  • $896 currently outstanding loans

  • 84 countries invested

All of the CMP loan history and stats are available on Kiva’s website.

How Can I Help?

  • Come to one of our gigs.

  • Hire us for your next event.

  • Keep in touch on Twitter and other social media.

  • Donate to the CMP. Please note that donations are not tax-deductible, as funds are invested and repaid.