Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
Tony Mowod, Executive Producer / Jazz Host, at WDUQ-FM 90.5, (his four hour nightly show is heard on the JazzWorks jazz network broadcasting 24/7 to public radio stations across the country), is also the President and Founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, and has been one of Pittsburgh's most enduring champions of jazz for over four decades. Even as a teenager, Tony, dazzled by the tremendous number of jazz greats from his native Pittsburgh, responded to them not only as a fan does, but as a young musician himself. (The vibraphone was his instrument of choice after studying classical piano as a youngster.)
While attending Duquesne University, Tony embarked on his broadcasting career at WDUQ. Since then, he has been associated with WAZZ, WTAE, WKPA, WYDD, WAMO, and finally, coming full circle back home to WDUQ.
Tony has also been involved in theater. Appearing off-Broadway and on TV, as well as local pursuits in professional summer stock, the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Children's Theater, and Duquesne University's Red Masquers, among others. Tony has written album/c.d. liner notes for nationally and locally known artists such as Houston Person, Chris Vadala, Jimmy Ponder, Hendrik Meurkens, Lori Russo, Frank Cunimondo, Al Dowe/Etta Cox, Joe Negri, Don Aliquo, & Gene Ludwig, to name a few. Mowod has interviewed thousands of people, from all walks of life, mostly musicians such as, Oscar Peterson, Shirley Horn, Frank Sinatra & Joe Williams. His relaxed style and informative questions are his forte.
But there's no doubt about his first love, jazz. Tony's enthusiasm in communicating his affection for music earned him recognition as Radio Personality of the Year for three consecutive years, 1967 to 1969. A year after that, the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival honored him for his continuing effort to promote jazz music. California University of Pennsylvania awarded Tony the Excellence in Jazz Promotion Award for both 1989 and 1990.
The readers of 'In Pittsburgh' magazine also nominated him one of Pittsburgh's Top Five D.J.'s in 1989 and 1990. In 1992, he was presented with a plaque by the River City Brass Band for Outstanding Contribution to the Growth and Development of Jazz. Vectors/Pittsburgh nominated Tony for Man of the Year in Communications1996, 1997, 1998, & 1999. In 2000, Mowod was nominated and awarded by Vectors / Pittsburgh as Man of the Year in Arts & Music. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Award for Radio by the Pittsburgh Radio & Television Club.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, selected Mowod as one of the 'Top 50 Cultural Power Brokers of Pittsburgh' in 1998, 1999, 2000. In 1998 he was awarded the Radio Entertainer of the Year by Showtime '98' and was honored in 1995 with Pittsburgh Magazine's Inaugural Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award for Jazz (People to Watch Category.) In 2000 he received the 'Harry' Schwalb 'Excellence in the Arts Award for Jazz'. In 2002, Tony Mowod was the Honoree for the Mellon Jazz Festival. And 2003 he was chosen as one of the 'Top 50 Cultural Forces in Pittsburgh' by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. In 2004 he was inducted into the Pittsburgh Music Hall of Fame. In 2007 Tony was awarded the Talk Magazine/Walt Harper all that Jazz award.
Mowod teaches Jazz History at Duquesne University and also serves on the Board of the American Federation of Jazz Societies and on the Board of Advisors for Pittsburgh University's Center for Latin American Studies and The Pittsburgh Folk Festival.
Since Tony's founding of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society in 1987, (an all volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization) it has grown tremendously, among them jazz lovers, performers, and educators throughout the country. The PJS has awarded over $185,000.00 in scholarship to student musicians in need of assistance. To raise money, he conceived the idea of a Winter JazzFest, Jazz Cruises on the Gateway Clipper, Caribbean Cruises, The 'Jazz Train' and 'Jazz Day in the Park', an annual event that the Allegheny County Commissioners and Pittsburgh City Council have officially proclaimed, Jazz Day.
To heighten national awareness of Pittsburgh's rich jazz legacy, Tony founded the Pittsburgh Jazz Societies 'Pittsburgh Jazz Hall of Fame' to honor musicians born and reared in Pittsburgh, and hopes to see a building which would not only house local jazz memorabilia, but also serve as a gathering place where Pittsburgh's jazz artists can meet, teach, and perform. In 1991, he initiated the Pittsburgh Jazz Society Big Band, comprised of college and high school musicians, providing yearly scholarships to talented young musicians. In 1998, a $100,000 scholarship endowment fund was created for the Pittsburgh Jazz Society by Friends of Dr. Howard Gendell, awarding $10,000 each year, assuring the opportunity to continue to provide scholarships to the young students. In 2000, two musicians were chosen, and each received a $10,000.00 scholarship, making a total of over $26,000.00 awarded in one year.
Given Tony's expertise in both jazz and public speaking, it is not surprising that he is in great demand as lecturer on jazz and its colorful history, and on the matter of Public versus Commercial radio, as well as voice-over/commercials for national and local companies. He's been equally visible as Master of Ceremonies for performances at cities where his daily JazzWorks show is heard (over 60 markets), Universities, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Mellon Jazz Festival, Jazz at Seven Springs, Fortune 500 Conference, Jazz clubs, and numerous other celebrations.
Tony is also dedicated to helping and assisting other non-profits; Athena Foundation, RX Council, Carnegie Museums, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Westmoreland County Blind Association, Forbes Hospice, YWCA, Hunger Services Network, Stifel Fine Arts Center, 'Every Child', The Red Cross and countless others. On the national scene, Mowod has served as a host for National Public Radio (NPR) jazz series and has been a guest on XM satellite radio.
Tony's ongoing love affair with jazz music is rekindled each night as he reminds listeners to Keep a bit of love in your heart, and a taste of jazz in your soul. More than words to Tony Mowod, they are the man's philosophy.