by Dave Liebman
Tony Marino is a Latin jazz pianist, composer, and recording engineer based in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. _EARLY YEARS …_ The artist fell in love with music at an early age. At just 7-years old he started playing piano and has been hooked ever since. In his early days, Tony was inspired by the iconic Leon Russell and strove to become professional pianist, composer and performer. Tony started studying piano with Bill DelGovenatore. This is where Tony's journey into the world of jazz began. Bill introduced Tony the jazz genre and even introduced him to famous artists such as Thelonious Monk. This was a true turning point for Tony, and the start of his immersion into jazz and Latin inspired music. While studying, Tony was making ends meet working in a music store. This store became foundational to Tony's immersion into the music scene. For instance, he developed connections with famous jazz musicians such as Al Stauffer and Frank DiBussolo. Eventually, Bill introduced Tony to Tom Lawton who became Tony's final mentor and piano tutor. _ON THE MOVE_ … In 1974, Tony was the keyboardist for a Philadelphia Italian-American band called Idea '71. However, Tony left the group to continue his education. After that, he relocated to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. After this significant life change, Tony was able to discover a tight and warm jazz community in his brand new hometown. It was here that Tony formed _Tony Marino and Havana Heat_. This talented and seasoned group of musicians became regulars on the live music circuit. They performed at clubs, venues, festivals, and private events. In 1997, Tony released his debut album _"Tony Marino & Havana Heat: The Latin Jazz Project." _The music from this project was featured heavily on local radio such as WBNI FM. This release launched Tony Marino into the spotlight and onto the national stage. The band had later changed their name to _Tony Marino's Latin Jazz Sounds. _While leading this band, Tony also released four albums and published the songbook _The Latin Jazz Project._ During this time, Tony freely explored diverse Latin inspired genres such as samba, bossa nova, and calypso. Eventually, Tony relocated to Jersey and then on to Santa Barbara for a handful of years. In California, Tony attended jazz jam sessions and played with a variety of established artists such as Jeff Elliot, name someone, and Rene Martinez, to mention but a few. No matter where he traveled, Tony always carried his passion and love for music with him. He was able to quickly develop bonds and relationships in the jazz scene on a national level. _COMPOSER, PIANIST, & RECORDING ENGINEER_ … The composer and artist has released an impressive eleven albums over his 20-year career. Tony is the sole creative mind behind his projects and is responsible for writing, composing, and producing his own original music. Tony's releases have always been greeted with critical acclaim and approval from his fans. What makes Tony stand out in the industry is that he is able to captivate and connect with jazz enthusiasts and novices alike. His music is accessible and thrilling, gaining him a loyal following of avid fans and admirers from around the world. The best part of it is, that Tony shows no signs of slowing down! He has two upcoming releases that are due to hit the shelves this year. In his own words, _"I am dedicated to becoming a better musician and creating original music." _After listening to his releases it's immediately apparent that Tony is a passionate and skilled musician with a raw talent. Find out more about Tony by exploring this site  or simply google  him - he's not hard to find .