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Tony Saunders’ life story could be the script to a hit

movie.  Son of legendary keyboardist and composer

Merl Saunders, Tony’s life has been a musical adventure.  

As a child he was taught piano by Herbie Hancock, and

for his tenth birthday he was given an electric

organ ​​from Sly Stone.


Growing up around his dad and the Fantasy Records

family of artists,  he was constantly surrounded by music

royalty, including famed record and film executive Saul Zaentz.  

Tony’s passion for the bass guitar began when he started sitting

in on recording sessions with musicians like Anthony Davis, who

played with Walter Hawkins, and Lee Miles of Miles Davis fame.  

“I got to see them both in the studio on a project my dad was producing.  

These guys had a feel that drew me to the bass. "That’s all I wanted after

seeing them play."

Tony graduated from the prestigeous Conservatory
of Music in San Francisco

as a piano player,  but soon began honing his skills on the bass. He was influenced

by the sounds of James Jamison,  Stanley Clark, Jack Cassidy and others.  Tom Fogarty

of Creedence Clearwater Revival gave him his first bass guitar. Chuck Rainey and John

Kahn both took an interest in Tony, giving him bass lessons and a legacy to live up to.

By time he was  17 he was playing his first gig with Jerry Garcia and his dad in the Merl

Saunders / Jerry Garcia Band.

Tony's musical journey has continued on from that era through to the present.  He has

played and recorded with an astounding list of great musical talents, including Eric Clapton,

David Crosby, Jo Sample, Chaka Khan, Ringo Star,  Bo Diddley, The Hawkins Family, and others

too many to count. "This just touches the edge of who I have been blessed to play with", says

Saunders.  Tony has played on hundreds of albums, won two Emmy Awards for soundtracks,

and written award winning commercial jingles and movie scores.

Tony continues to record his own projects and produces for an impressive list of talent at

his state of the art studio in Northern California.  Tony’s latest single "Uptown Jazz" climbed

to number 5 on the Adult Contemporary Groove Jazz Charts.  It was released in September,

2015.  Tony's newest CD "Uptown Jazz" was released in March 2016.  His newest single,

"Shaniya", was also released in March, 2016.  The song is named after his granddaughter

Shaniya, who helped​ him record the song.



B I O G R A P H Y

I Romance The Bass As I Romance Life...

  • Sea Cliff Drive4:34

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