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Tony Monaco Trio
Celebrated Hammond B-3 Jazz Organ wizard Tony Monaco began his keyboard life at age eight, on the accordion. When he was twelve, his destiny as a jazz organist was sealed when he first heard Jimmy Smith. On his sixteenth birthday, he received an encouraging phone call from Jimmy Smith, who soon became his Mentor/Teacher. Four years later, Jimmy Smith invited Tony to come play at his club in California - a peak lifetime experience for Tony.
In April 2000, Tony met fellow jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, who offered to produce a debut CD for him. This collaboration resulted in the critically acclaimed Burnin Grooves. The international success of the recording served as the catalyst for regional and national tours. This success was followed by two more releases for Summit Records that received critical acclaim and significant sales, charting in the Jazzweek Top 10. In September 2003, Summit Records released A New Generation, a unique recording featuring both Tony's and Joey DeFrancesco's Trios. As Tony’s reputation has grown, he has been blessed to play with some of greatest musicians in jazz, including Mel Lewis, Lewis Nash, Red Holloway, Plas Johnson, Sonny Fortune, Jon Faddis, Adam Nussbaum, Bruce Forman, Harvey Mason, Chester Thompson (drummer) Herlin Riley, Matt Wilson, Jeff Clayton, Terrell Stafford, Eric Alexander, Late Bobby Durham, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, Paul Bollenback, Bruce Forman, Kevin Mahogany, Victor Lewis, and Pat Martino.
Tony is an accomplished teacher as well. In addition to private students, classes and clinics, Tony has produced a series of instructional DVDs titled Playing Jazz Hammond that have quickly become indispensable for any serious student of the organ. Tony has decided to expand his catalogue and has created MotherHenMusicEd.com where he will soon be adding Gospel organists, Beginner & Primer series, Piano, etc.
Presently, Tony maintains a busy world touring schedule, including festival appearances in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Holland and Spain, as well as Canada and the US. Now Executive Producer of the Summit Records subsidiary Chicken Coup Records, he has recorded and released CDs for several undiscovered organists around the globe, and his role as educator has allowed him to spread and cultivate many new hopefuls to the art of the jazz organ.
Looking for more information including sound and video clips? Check out The Artistic Director's Guide to the Festival.