Columbus, OH-based jazz organist, Tony Monaco, released his debut album, “Burnin Grooves,” in 2001 (produced by fellow jazz organist sensation, Joey DeFrancesco) and has gone on to release eight additional recordings since then which have met international acclaim. He has toured and recorded with modern jazz guitar sensation, Pat Martino, and has also performed with the likes of jazz luminaries 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. In addition to his performance accomplishments, Monaco has produced a series of instructional DVD’s on playing the jazz organ and continues to maintain a very busy schedule that includes festival appearances, clinics, and workshops.
“Tony Monaco may be the best organ player you have yet to hear of flying stealth while playing arguably some of the hottest B-3 around. Mentored by the legendary Jimmy Smith in what is considered the more classic style, Monaco does not swing, smolder or smoke. Tony Monaco burns is this most fitting!…”
- CriticalJazz Review
Join us for a post-Thanksgiving swingin’ affair as we welcome this powerhouse group for a burnin’ evening of organ trio jazz – one night only, get your tickets today!
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. An enthusiastic student, Tony began working in Jazz clubs as a teenager in his native Columbus, Ohio, guided by local organ gurus Hank Marr and Don Patterson. For further inspiration, he studiously absorbed the mastery of Jimmy McGriff, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. All would play a role in the development of his musical palette. On Tony’s sixteenth birthday, his prayers were answered. 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.
From 1980 to 2006, Tony stood by his family businesses and married to have three daughters, while running Monaco’s Palace Italian restaurant for ten years while performing weekly in the lounge. Tony then entered the food brokerage industry peaking towards Torchbearer status with SYSCO foods. Always inspired by music, Tony then went to work as an assistant Broadcast producer for a prominent ad agency learning his production skills and playing gigs at night to continue supporting his family. After graduating from college with a B.S.B.A. from Franklin University in 1989, Tony’s occupation changed again to supervisor of Monaco Concrete ( “my Father needed a good manager and my daughters were getting close to going to college!”).
Tony now enjoys and concentrates in all his musical energies flourishing completely as he pursues his passions. 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. They recorded the project using two “Hammond-Suzuki New B3’s” as Tony was awarded a major endorsement role with Hammond and Suzuki. 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, Pat Martino, Fareed Haque and even George Benson.
An ardent student of the organ, it’s no surprise that 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 and now has a system of giving lessons one on one online to anyone from anywhere around the globe!
Presently, Tony maintains the busiest world touring schedule imaginable, including festival appearances ,clinics and workshops In 2007, Tony celebrated a special anniversary, celebrating 40 years as a musician and appearing on the cover of Keyboard Magazine. April 2012, Tony released “Celebration Life * Love * Music, a two disc set of all originals as he continues to Celebrate his Musical gifts and shares his gifts to everyone. Tony’s drive as an innovator and missionary continues to carry forward his passion for the Hammond Organ. 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.
Tony continues his mission to raise awareness and appreciation of jazz organ and its importance in genres as diverse as traditional Gospel, RnB and Modern Jazz. He is now Hammond/Suzuki’s prime instrument endorser worldwide. Tony has recently ended nearly two and a half years playing world tours with Pat Martino as he resumes his personal playing and teaching ambitions. He has begun expanding his educational series to include other organist and styles with his new MotherHenMusicEd.Com. He is formulating new strategies and record deals using his network through Chicken Coup Records to help himself and his peers and students advance in this ever changing music market and utilize new technologies and markets. Tony is a vital source of musical experience, knowledge and humility – ready, willing and able!
Music has been an integral part of Dan Wilson’s life since his beginnings in gospel music. Upon hearing a Wes Montgomery record in a relative’s basement, Dan decided to pursue a a career as a musician. Since then, he has spent more than a decade honing his craft. Dan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music & Liberal Studies from Hiram College in 2006. His passion for Brazilian music led him to the city of Rio De Janeiro in 2007 to conduct research for his Masters Thesis which he defended successfully at Youngstown State University in 2009.
Dan has had the privilege of touring Russia with Eric Marienthal and Germany with the Golden Gospel Singers in the winter of 2011. Over the years, he has enjoyed the honor of sharing the stage with many jazz greats including Joey DeFranceso, Russell Malone, Les McCann, Christian McBride, and Dave Stryker. Dan also teaches jazz guitar and improvisation at Cuyahoga Community College and leads a group of talented musicians from the Northeast Ohio/ Pittsburgh area. These musicians can be heard contributing their full creativity on the 2012 album entitled To Whom It May Concern.
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|Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.|