Tony Monaco Returns to Romolo Chocolates

Categories:  Arts & Culture/Entertainment    Music
Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 7:15 PM
Tony Monaco Returns to Romolo Chocolates by
Contributed photo

Inspired by the playing and advice of the legendary jazz Hammond B3 organist Jimmy Smith and encouraged by today’s reigning organ master Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco has achieved critical acclaim of his own.

Monaco, a frequent performer in Erie, returns Aug. 15 to close out Romolo Chocolates’ seventh season of free concerts. It’s a Sweet Summer Season gift to us all, but especially for jazz fans in a city pretty much starving for big-time jazz.

Monaco, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, will bring along tenor saxophonist-composer Pete Mills, his Columbus compadre, while awaiting them will be the talented and popular Erie tandem of guitarist Frank Singer and drummer Joe Dorris.

Some fans have called Monaco a “monster” on the B3 recently, and it likely wasn’t because the word is alliterative, but rather because Monaco is a fiercely physical player. As large and imposing as the B3 is, Monaco seems to tame it, getting as much sound from it as possible and exerting every bit of his skill and energy.

A boyhood accordionist at 8, that phase ended at 12 when Monaco heard Jimmy Smith and had an epiphany. He immediately started playing organ.

At 16, Monaco got a phone call from Smith, who continued to call with playing tips for a number of years.

Talk about the importance of a good teacher. – Bob Protzman

6 p.m. // 1525 W. Eighth St. //

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