Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Monaco, Tony (Anthony Guy)
Monaco is a Hammond B3 Endorser, Clinician and National Artist on Summit Records. Monaco has been playing music since he was eight years old. When he was twelve, He was given a Jimmy Smith album and instantly knew that Jazz Organ was his calling. Tony began to play in Jazz nightclubs around Columbus, Ohio while he was still learning the art of the Hammond B3 organ. He was influenced by hometown Organists such as Hank Marr and Don Patterson. Tony's newfound fascination led him to jazz organ legends Jimmy McGriff, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Here he found an unlimited source of inspiration; he just couldn't get enough! On Tony's sixteenth birthday, he received a return phone call from Jimmy Smith. This was a great honor and really boosted his enthusiasm as an organist. Jimmy Smith continued to give Tony Jazz Organ secrets over the phone while Tony was playing around Columbus. When he was twenty, Jimmy Smith invited Tony to come play with him at his club in Woodland Hills L.A., California. An experience Tony would never forget; Tony finally got to play in front of the master of the Jazz Organ. Tony has also been fortunate enough to spend some time with Hank Marr and Dr. Lonnie Smith. In April 2000, Tony met Jazz Organ phenomenon Joey DeFrancesco while Joey was playing in Columbus, Ohio. The two of them became instant friends. Joey recognized Tonys' talents right away and offered to produce a CD for him. Tony was thrilled at this wonderful opportunity. He flew out to Joey's house in Arizona to begin recording the CD "Burnin Grooves". Tony recorded with Byron Landham on drums and Paul Bollenback on guitar. He also recorded a few tracks with Joey, who was on either piano or trumpet. Tony and Joey played together at the 5:01 Club in Columbus Ohio, where they had a "Battle of The Hammonds". They "dueled" it out while Byron Landham acted as a referee and played drums. This performance rocked the house with the club filled to maximum capacity. Tony's recording "Burnin Grooves" sparked international attention. He was featured on Pete Fallico's Internet Radio Program "Doodlin Lounge' on KUSP, Santa Cruz and KCSM, San Mateo. Local press in Columbus has written several articles about Tony's music. He received the award of "Excellent Instrumentalist" by the Greater Columbus Music Awards 2000. Tony has expanded his playing to regional and national tours. He usually plays with two great musicians from Columbus, Louis Tsamous on drums and Robert Kraut on guitar. In 2001, The Tony Monaco Trio performed every major festival and outdoor concert in Central Ohio, including the Jazz and Ribs fest, Confest, Art fest, etc.
Recently Tony has been endorsed and endorses Hammond Organs, joining his fellow organ mates Joey DeFrancesco, and Jimmy Smith, and Jimmy McGriff. Tony now travels and plays the "New B3" organ. Tony also now endorses Native Instruments B4 Software Synth and Cakewalk Sonar sequencer/digital recording and mastering software. So far in 2003, Tony has given his jazz organ clinic at the 2003 International Association of Jazz Educators in Toronto, Canada. Attended the Winter NAMM show for Hammond/Suzuki, performed at the Illinois State University "GLT" Jazz concert series as a double bill with the great Ron Carter, performed for the NPR convention in San Diego. Tony has many country wide clinics, festivals and concerts scheduled for 2003. His parents were both born in Italy during the early beginnings of WWII. His Father, Ubaldo Monaco was born Feb, 9th of 1935 and his Mom, Anna Maria Colarossi, Oct, 8th of 1938. After the war they both immigrated to the United States in Columbus, Ohio to find work. It was in the US that they met and married. Tony is the oldest of three with a sister, Teresa and a brother, Marino. He has 3 beautiful daughters, Nicole, Christina and Daniela. Although very musical, he's pressed them more to educate themselves in academics instead of music. He is presently engaged to be married to Kathaleen "Katarina" Conley. Their family, including Tony, all reside in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Getting In Touch (1989); Lets Bop (2000); Burnin' Grooves (2001); Master Chops T (2002); Intimately Live at the 501 (2002); A New Generation (Paesanos on the New B3) (2003)
Oct 2001 "Playing Jazz Hammond (part 1)" VHS Instructional Video
April 2002 "Playing Jazz Hammond (part 2)" VHS Instructional Video and "Playing Jazz Hammond (part 1 & 2)" on DVD.
Jazztimes Magazine March 2003 ~Owen Cordle
Jazziz Magazine JUNE 2002 ~Neil Tesser
Jazz Improv Magazine (Vol 3, Number 3) By Bill Donaldson
Downbeat Magazine December 2002 ~Ed Enright
Jazztimes Magazine March 2002 ~Christopher Porter
Keyboard Magazine September 2002 Ernie Rideout
Downbeat Magazine August 2002 ~Todd Albright
Keyboard Magazine September 2001 ~Ned Torney