How did you come by your stage name?
I use the nickname that people have called me since my early teens “Tony”. Our production company’s name is “Toneman” Productions.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
Several events took place that led me to pursuing a music career. When I was seven, a local Philadelphia radio station played Leon Russell and Marc Benno’s album “Look Inside The Asylum Choir”. Hearing this inspired me to take piano lessons. In my early teens, I began studying with Bill DelGovenatore who introduced me to Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Bill Evans, Gato Barbieri, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, and many other jazz musicians.
Bill introduced me to Tom Lawton who I later studied with after many years of studying with Bill. This sparked my interest in studying jazz. My father worked with the Rev. Ernie Hopkins who was another mentor who also encouraged me to study jazz. In February of 1987, I heard Paquito D’Rivera and Claudio Roditi. This was the turning point for me to spend time studying Latin music.
Claudio introduced me to Breno and Neusa Sauer. I studied with Breno who taught me how to play Brazilian music and Tango. Both Breno and Neusa introduced me to many artists that were new to me at that time. Over the years I have worked very hard practicing, composing, and recording original music.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
There are so many people that I have learned from and I continue to find new musicians that I can learn from. Here are some of the people who have influenced me: Leon Russell, The Doors, Bill DelGovenatore, Tom Lawton, Ernie Hopkins, Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Paquito D’Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Arturo Sandoval, Stevie Wonder, Breno & Neusa Sauer, Mark Soskin, Astor Piazzolla, Jose Valdes, Carlos Franzetti, Michel Camilo, Hermeto Pascoal and many many more.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
My current release “Tony Marino Swing Your Thing” is a collection of songs that I have previously recorded that are arranged and recorded in a big band format. There is 10 composition that I wrote over the years. Each of the songs was inspired by people who have made an impact on my life and are arranged and recorded in a big band format.
This album and the first composition “Swing Your Thing” are dedicated to my in-laws Charles and Florence Schmidt. “Quite Frankly” is dedicated in memory of my brother Frank. “Matthew’s Samba” is dedicated to our son Matthew. “My Ladies” is dedicated to the two most beautiful ladies I know, my wife Kris and our daughter Stephanie. “Fatherly Advice” is in memory of my father Anthony G. Marino Sr. “Biagio” is dedicated to Biagio D’Urso. “Hoppy” is in memory of my friend and mentor the Rev. Ernest Hopkins.
“A Jam For Paquito” is dedicated to Paquito D’Rivera. “As Good As It Gets” is dedicated to Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. “Blues For Claudio” is dedicated to my friend Claudio Roditi who recently passed away.
Composer, Pianist, TONY MARINO set out to kickstart his year with a big band, and one of his most exciting recording projects to date. The artist recently announced the release of his new studio effort, “Swing Your Thing.” This release stands out as a one-of-a-kind example of Tony’s incredible versatility as a recording artist and jazz composer, while also incorporating a wider range of influences into the album.
The ten songs do indeed explore influences as diverse as fusion, Latin, world music, and so much more. SWING YOUR THING FOLLOWS THREE GLOBAL AWARD WINNING ALBUMS … Que Pasa (2020) described as “the kind of music with the uniqueness, skill, and sound, you come back to”, Tango Silhouette (2019) with it’s “exquisite orchestrations“. Plus, Family and Friends (2019) – said to be “superb, infectious and uplifting“.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The biggest challenges are to keep learning, practicing, and writing original music. From an early age, I have been able to stay focused and disciplined in practicing and consistently learn, write and explore new music.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Anyone who thinks they are the best at what they do is disillusioned. I am the best that I can be.
What are your plans for the near future?
I have three projects in the works: 1) a rhythm and blues album, 2) a jazz-rock album and 3) a solo piano album that will be released over the next few years.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
I would like to mention that the one person who has kept me going over the past 3 decades is my wonderful wife Kristina. Without her support, I would never be able to accomplish all that I have. I also am extremely fortunate to have my wonderful children and great family and friends. I am very grateful for all of my teachers, mentors, followers, DJs, and reviewers who have supported me over the years.
How can fans find you?
My music can be found on our website https://tonymarino.us and the most popular digital music platforms.
What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
Simultaneously work on music and build a second career. The less you depend on music to make a living the more fun you will have creating music.