Desert Island Jazz
Tony Monaco (2013)

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(Photo by Luca Ciccione)

Of Hammond B-3 man Tony Monaco it has been said "He does not swing, smolder or smoke: he burns!"

Tony started out at age eight in his native Columbus, Ohio, on a keyboard and, like not a few organists before him, accordion.

It was as a teenager that he first heard Jimmy Smith on organ, an event that sealed Tony's fate. He was guided along by Ohio locals such as Hank Marr and Don Patterson, and then mentored by Jimmy himself following a telephone placed to him by 16-year-old Tony. Four years later, he was invited out to California to play with Jimmy.

From 1980-2006, Tony stood by the family business, running an Italian restaurant while performing weekly in the lounge. He went on to the food brokerage business, and then worked as an assistant broadcast producer for an Ad agency, learning all the ropes of production. His father needed a good new manager, so for a while Tony was a supervisor in concrete, all the while raising his family and playing music.

Tony's breakthrough came in 2000 when he met fellow organist Joey DeFrancesco, who offered to help him produce a recording.

Since then it's been a matter of national and regional tours, festivals, a dozen or so recordings, and teaching too—clinics, workshops, and one-on-one lessons. Tony is also an organizer and leader, and is now executive producer at a subsidiary of Summit Records, Chicken Coup Records.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Don Patterson The Legends of Acid Jazz Just Friends Prestige
# 2 Jimmy Smith Root Down Root Down Verve
# 3 Jimmy McGriff and Richard "Groove" Holmes Giants of the Organ in Concert Bean's LRC
# 4 Chick Corea Electric Band Inside Out Inside Out GRP
# 5 Jimmy McGriff The Best of Jimmy McGriff: Pullin' Out All the Stops All About My Girl Blue Note
# 6 Don Patterson Dem New York Dues Sir John Prestige
# 7 Tony Monaco Trio with Joey DeFrancesco Paesanos on the New B3 Aglio e Olio Summit
Book "I don't read ... except the Internet."
Luxury Item "More time."
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