Tony took to music naturally and, with his grandfather’s assistance, began playing trumpet at the young age of three. He began playing clarinet at age 10 and added saxophone at age 11. Tony’s musical foundation was blessed by an excellent private woodwind instructor, Ed Heney, one of the lead saxophonists of the world renowned John Philip Souza Marching Band. Mr. Heney honed Tony’s technique, tone and confidence.
Tony began to play professionally at age 15 all over northern California in the R&B band “Streetwise”, arranging and playing in a 3-piece horn section. The fruits of Tony’s labor paid off in his final year of high school when he placed first in the Northern California Étude Competition (Classical) and obtained the lead alto chair in both the California State Jazz Band, and the prestigious Monterrey Jazz Festival High School All Star Band.
After high school, Tony was offered an opportunity to join a recording project for Warner Brothers Records, and ultimately recording at the acclaimed Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Tony enjoyed years of touring through his late ’20s. Later, Tony became the Minister of Music at the Church of Divine Man where he wrote music, directed, taught and oversaw all choirs in all the parishes, including his own gospel-style choir at the main parish.
Tony has backed The Drifters and The Temptations. He plays with and has toured nationally with Johnny Baron & The Bel Aires, Then & Now, the Joel Nelson Band and Larry Lynch and the Mob. He has been a featured soloist in the Napa Symphony. Tony has performed, recorded for and toured with vocal artists Keely Smith (Louis Prima), Connie Francis, Russ Lorenson, Shawn Ryan, Shaynee Rainbolt, Lua Hadar and Terese Genecco, in her ever popular, award-winning show, “Drunk With Love”.