Tony Moreno grew up in New York City. His mother, Nina Dunkel Moreno, was a major influence on his interests in music. She was harpist, musicologist and teacher who studied at Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory with Marcel Grandjany and Nadia Boulanger. She later worked at Charles French Restaurant in Greenwich Village, where she met many great composers (Alec Wilder, Vernon Duke and Burt Bacharach) and musicians (Stan Koor). Stan was Tony’s first drum teacher with whom he began a long apprenticeship at 10, continuing throughout high school.
Tony began playing and studying the piano at the Dalcroze School of Music at 4. At the age of 11, Tony’s mom took him to the neighborhood club to hear Elvin Jones, from whom he purchased his first set of drums and cymbals a week later. Tony studied with Elvin at Frank Ippolito’s Professional Percussion Center over the next 6 years (depending on Elvin’s schedule!).
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New York City