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• QUICK BIO: Tony Saunders, one of America's premier Bass Guitarists has performed/recorded with some of the worlds greatest musicians - Eric Clapton, jerry Garcia, Stevie Wonder, Randy Crawford, Jessie
6/27/2019 3:03:32 AM
Tony Saunders Romancing The Bass
Mill Valley CA - United States
•  Jazz [Smooth Jazz/R&B]

• INFLUENCES: Marcus Miller, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Herbie Hancock

Tony Saunders-Bassist, Composer, Band Leader
Austin White-Drums
Kevin Wong-Keys
Susan Copperman-sax
Matt Clarke-Keys
Vernon Black-Guitar
Gail jhonson-Keys
Geoff Alpert-Trombone
Juan Escovedo-Percussion

Anthony Washington 510 919 6397



• BIO:
Tony Saunders is currently working on a new CD "Sexy Somethin" He is co-producing the Cd with Nils and Gail Jhonson. Paul Brown, Ray Chew and Jeff Lorber have committed their parts to the latest batch of tunes.. To be released in January of 2019!!!!!!

Tony Saunders Bio

The son of legendary Bay Area keyboardist Merl Saunders, Tony Saunders’ life has been infused with one musical adventure after another. As a bassist, composer, arranger and producer – whose godparents included Wynton Kelly and Jimmy Smith - Tony has conquered the worlds of jazz, gospel, R&B, pop and world music. He earned the first of his two Emmys at age 14 for collaborating with his dad on the PBS documentary Soul Is and by 17 was playing with Merl and Jerry Garcia on their collaborative projects. Though he took his first musical lessons on piano from Herbie Hancock, the bass he received from John Fogerty’s brother Tom – and watching recording sessions with famed bassists Anthony Davis and Lee Miles - sparked a lifelong passion for that instrument that now, decades later, has led to his emergence as a major independent force in contemporary jazz.

Saunders graduated from the prestigious Conservatory of Music in San Francisco as a piano player, but has focused on the bass throughout his career, drawing on influences and encouragement of greats like James Jamison and Stanley Clarke. After launching his career with his dad Merl and Jerry Garcia, Saunders embarked on a diverse career that has found him playing and recording with a virtual who’s who of popular music and jazz – including Eric Clapton, David Crosby, Dave Liebman, Les McCann, Dr. John, Joe Sample, Chaka Khan, Ringo Star, Bo Diddley, Mavis Staples, John Lee Hooker, The Hawkins Family and Paul Jackson Jr. Over the years Tony has scored films, corporate videos, TV shows and commercials, and produced many artists out of his own studio, Studio 1281. He’s written the music and been musical director for stage musicals, including Rock Justice, which was co-written by Jefferson Starship’s Marty Balin.

In 2010, Saunders signed with indie label San Francisco Records after producing and arranging a project for the label. He launched his solo career in the smooth jazz genre with the well-received albums Romancing the Bass (2011) and Appaloosa (2013), which features an impressive array of guest appearances including vocals by Howard Hewett, Bill Champlin and Tony Lindsay. Saunders’ breakthrough album Uptown Jazz (2016) solidified his tight, funky and melodic urban jazz style. The first single “Uptown Jazz” reached #5 on the Smoothjazz.com chart, while its follow-up “Speak To My Heart” featuring Gerald Albright hit #3.

Uptown Jazz earned its title as Saunders’ tribute to his years of going uptown to Harlem in New York City to hear and play good music. Though he’ll always consider the Bay Area his home, the bassist has many fond memories of playing in Manhattan, including a favorite gig while touring with Randy Crawford, opening for the late Grover Washington, Jr. at Lincoln Center. “What they now call smooth jazz is an evolution of the sound Grover and others like George Duke, Joe Sample and Cannonball Adderley were playing back in the day,” Saunders says. “I’ve been listening to this music my whole life, just under different names.”

Saunders proudly calls his upcoming release Sexy Somethin’, “Some of the best music I’ve ever done, hands down. And, like the title says, really sexy.” The still-in-progress project features collaborations with and appearances by hitmaking guitarist and producer Nils, and Norman Brown’s keyboardist/Musical Director Gail Jhonson, who are also co-producers on the project. Another track is being produced by Saunders with his longtime mentor/cousin, bandleader Ray Chew, of “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” fame.

“The new project has the same kind of vibe I’ve been playing in, but like each previous CD shows a new level of maturity and artistry as I continue to evolve as an artist,” Saunders says. “My favorite part of my journey into the urban jazz genre is having the opportunity to both work with and be competitive with artists I’ve admired for years who I am proud to now call my peers. I know my dad, who passed away in 2008, would be proud of all I am doing now. He made me feel that I was worth a million dollars, and always held me on a pedestal no matter what level I was at as a player. It was always fun challenging each other and I know we would be doing that today if he were still here.”

Saunders boldly claims, “I play the bass like B.B. King played Lucille, with a passion that is all about conveying warmth and making people feel the music. I’m not a virtuoso and don’t feel the need to play fast to impress anyone. I love people, that’s the way I let them know.” He is in the house band at the Blue Note in Napa, where he has also played with his own group, featuring guitarist Vernon Black (Mariah Carey, Maze, Herbie Hancock, Booker T.) and a young drummer named Austin White. Saunders has also played jazz at Yoshi’s in Oakland, Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay in San Diego and has opened for Jeffrey Osborne. Every year, he heads back East to perform in an all-star concert celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday at such venues as the Strand Theatre in Lakewood NJ. Playfully hinting at the romantic nature of his music, Saunders says, “We play music that when you get home, you’ll thank God you came to the concert.”

• Yoshi's – Oakland, CA (two solo “sold out” CD Release Parties)
• Blue Note – Napa, CA (w/ Gail Jhonson)
• Strand Theater – Lakeland, NJ (tribute to Jerry Garcia)
• Humphrey’s By the Bay - San Diego, CA
• Baked Potato - Universal City, CA
• Starlight Serenade at The Harmony Theater – Hollywood, CA (w/ Paul Jackson Jr., Sinbad, Jessie J, Geoff Alpert, Gail Jhonson)
• Project Imagine for Yoko Ono and The Jerry Garcia Foundation (Vianisi Winery, Sonoma, CA)
• Bogies - Westlake Village/Los Angeles, CA
• Oakland Jazz festival – Oakland, CA (w/ Gail Jhonson and Destiny Muhammad)
• Stockton Jazz Festival – Stockton, CA (w/ Gail Jhonson and Destiny Muhammad)
• North Tahoe Jazz Festival - Lake Tahoe, CA (opened for Jeffrey Osborne)
• Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA

CONTACT: Anthony Washington
Phone: 510.919.6397
Email: anthonywashington24@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.tonysaunders.com/
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