It was pretty bizarre when I went back to Vegas, you know, because I started getting a name for myself, and then that’s when, not too long after that, I got the gig at the Hilton orchestra. I stayed there a good eight years and on the band was James Moody, tenor player, phenomenal player, became like a father image to me, also. Carl Fontana, the great trombone player one of the best in the world if not the best in the world, Sam Noto to a great trumpet player coming out of Stan Kenton, Alex Acuna was on the band for a little while. He later went with Weather Report. It was a phenomenal band, phenomenal, some other players perhaps you had never heard of. We did all the TV shows there because they did them at the Hilton. So I got experience with television work.
Alex: and relying on the ability to read and play nice with others.
Tony: You have to read, you know, because the pressure is on. I became a good reader on the gig and when I had some spots in my reading that I had to work on I would go into LA on my day off and study. I studied with Joe Valenti who was orchestra leader at the LA Philharmonic as he was teaching sight reading to old studio guys, whatever little glitches, and you know the things they had to like, brush up on. He really helped me a lot.
Alex: It sounds like you were constantly looking to improve and learn from everyone you were exposed to. It’s great that you share those lessons with your students. Were there any special techniques developed along the way?
Tony: I have a picking technique that comes from the violin.
I studied with this picking genius at right hand plectrum technique because he was initially a violinist. He went way back to working with the old Paul Whiteman Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy. He was a violinist before the guitar was popular, his name was Joe Sgro.
Chefs create art for the eyes, nose, and tongue. Rightfully so, we have come to expect our food to look good, smell good and taste good. There are exceptions to the rule, […]
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Known for a special quality of light especially on the East End, Long Island has always been home to great and famous artists. Some of those artists were born and raised here, others were transient, coming here seasonally for the light or social life. The Hamptons still host artists of all kinds.
I WANT THE COVER! Almost every call I pick up for Long Island Portfolio, from an artist or their agent, gallery owner, clothing designer or restaurant owner, starts with those words. I am not sorry to say, the cover is not for sale. Each issue of LI Portfolio is dedicated to timely themes. Art for the cover should be attention grabbing…
We surround people with talent and vision but are often unable to see or experience for ourselves because it is buried in basements, towns and cities, churches and vfw halls, and even on street corners. I believe he is back in school in Virginia, but singer and performing artist Finnbar Mac (Finn MacDevitt) can be seen busking around Huntington with his guitar case open for donations. I want to see him on stage at The Paramount and hear his music on Spotify.
Our first cover is graced with local artist Robyn Bellospirito. Robyn, all by herself represents painters and dancers and photographers, models, costume designers and character creators. We have collaborated on several projects and she shares the collaborative effort, joint art design. I forgot to mention she also sings and creates music. I would love to help get her story and work in front of a greater audience and help her sell her work. Wouldn’t you? She is so creative, imagine she could devote her time to her artistic expression and not her day job (which is also creative, as she is a writer)