Tony began playing and studying the piano at the Dalcroze School of Music at 4. At the age of 11, Tony’s mom took him to the neighborhood club to hear Elvin Jones, from whom he purchased his first set of drums and cymbals a week later. Tony studied with Elvin at Frank Ippolito’s Professional Percussion Center over the next 6 years (depending on Elvin’s schedule!). The trio was with Jimmy Garrison and Joe Farrel. “I went a few times a week to Frank’s, either for my lesson with Elvin, or just to hang. I made many close friends there: Papa Joe, Tony Williams, Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis, Gene Krupa, Billy Cobham. All the great drummers were there. It was heaven,” remembers Tony.
Tony also attended Jazz Interactions in NYC, where he studied with Al Heath, Art Blakey and Freddie Waits. Tony also met Bob Moses, who as a drummer and composer, encouraged the idea of writing and performing original music. After attending the Manhattan School of Music, Tony freelanced in NY and began working in Europe, where he resided for 6 years and began touring and recording extensively. Oslo, Stockholm, London, Paris, Aux-En-Provence, Berlin, Koln, Milan, Parma, Madrid, Barcelona, Tangiers. And all points in between. In 1989, Tony returned to NYC with his wife, Susan Wedgle. His mother passed away a few weeks before his son, Evan’s birth. Tony began gigging and teaching and recording soon after arriving back to town.
Tony teaches at New York University’s Jazz Performance Program (Dr. David Schroeder) and Columbia University’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Studies Program (Dr. Chris Washbourne) as well as at City College of New York, and privately. Tony has appeared on over 100 recordings, as well as television, DVDs, concert footage, radio broadcasts and youtube.
Tony Moreno endorses Paiste Cymbals (Andrew Shreve) and plays Sonor Hi Lites, Pro Lites and Q2 drums.