The award-winning Tony Exum, Jr.would like us to remember more than any awards that he has won. He has been quoted as saying that any gift comes from God. And staying humble is important.
THATsaid, our versatile guest has mad QUITE a few fans since his musical journey started - in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Actually, his childhood days encompassed more than one location. He experienced Colorado primarily - but traveled back and forth to Mississippi and New Orleans. So, Tony amassed an ear full of various kinds of music. And his Mom's record collection was full of some heavyweights - Charlie Parker and George Howard among them. Then, there was Uncle Larry...a sax man himself, who played with the Army bands at Ft. Collins.
The interest gleaned from these inspirations fueled Tony to study - that passion landed him a spot at the prestigious Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. His teachers prepped him for the life that was coming. Truth be told, he was ready WAY before then!
In 1996, Tony joined Meadowlark Jivin' - a popular Ft. Collins-based group that played a mix of Jazz, Blues, R & B, and Funk. Though he spent seven years with the band, he also wanted to spread wings and fly solo. Important promoters heard his style and he got a chance to open for the Temptations, Four Tops, Manhattans, Nelson Rangell and Chiel Minucci - among others.
The perception is that Tony is a Smooth Jazz artist. To some of us who have listened, there's a world of other music in his soul. You've got to "come back" to what initially stirred you - and that's where his music is and will go. Those cats that his Mom played...the Hip Hop of his formative years...New Edition ringing in his ears - it's all there in the silky style of an assured Sax Man :)
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