Tony Foster
Gig Seeker Pro

Tony Foster


Band Jazz Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""...Foster [ ] realizes both the importance and the impact of space""

Here’s a Northwest guy, originally from Vancouver, B.C., now living in Seattle. So why in the heck didn’t I know of him before? From his opener, “Take the A Train,” you’ll discover that Foster, like one of his two piano heroes, Ahmad Jamal, realizes both the importance and the impact of space. His sparse approach gives a totally new look to the old standard. Having plowed ground under the shadow of Jamal, Foster then does a 180 and plays “Cakewalk,” a joyous romp composed by his other hero, Oscar Peterson. Needless to say, Peterson and Jamal are worlds apart, but Foster does ‘em both with ease and flair, all the while not sounding like either of them. Some shades of color and texture follow on several Foster originals, and he ends the program with a medley of “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “You’ve Changed,” followed by the closer, a down-home John Clayton blues called “Serious Grease.” Foster’s playing mates, both sharpshooters, are Russell Botten, bass, and Joe Poole, drums. Foster’s got a lot going for him, and somebody needs to invite him to travel the short 175 miles to play here in Portland.
Self-produced, 2009, 50:45.
- George Fendel - Jazz Society of Oregon

"" excellent nine-track record" -"

Vancouver pianist Tony Foster left university with a degree in commerce, but the Muse had other ideas. A favorite sideman of vocalist Dee Daniels, Foster has just released, through, an excellent nine-track trio record in the company of bassist Russell Botten and drummer Joe Poole.

Foster's arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's Take the 'A' Train makes the old chestnut almost unrecognizable; even though the band unlocks it from its swing-beat shackles, the tune still swings in a different way. Mr. J, which Foster wrote for piano idol Ahmad Jamal, sounds more like McCoy Tyner, as the leader drops bomb-chords with his left hand while exploring with the right. Botten plays a pedal bass figure and Poole uses brushes on A.J., which swings in the spirit of Jamal. 3.5 stars. - Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun - Vancouver Sun newspaper Oct. 31/09

""a trio album..that is truly a brilliant statement and piece of work.""

Admittedly, I know little to nothing about jazz created by our Canadian brothers and sisters, or at least I can say that most of the jazz I buy and listen to come from American, European, and Japanese artists. Of course, the best jazz is all about dividing up the pie in many ways, so in the words of Rakim God Allah, it ain’t where you’re from it’s where you’re at. Pianist Tony Foster is someone who proves this with a trio album (the other musicians on here being Joe Poole on drums and Russell Botten on bass) that is truly a brilliant statement and piece of work.

The 9-song strong In Between Moods (self-released) is an album of performances Foster, Poole, and Botten did for radio broadcasts, and the songs they play are just top notch. In fact, the album opens up with “Take The A Train”, which sample-heads may while to after hearing the original, but it sounds nothing like the celebrated A-train we know of unless we’re taking a serious listen. The melody is there, but the path towards the train is so different, you wish they would find more paths to get to that destination. Those paths are explored throughout the album, in the medley of “Someone To Watch Over Me/You’ve Changed”, Oscar Peterson’s “Cake Walk”, or “How I Miss The Rain”, one of four original pieces from Foster. The energy here reminds me of Dave Brubeck, and I mean that not only in the peppy way Foster can play, but also the way his group eggs him on as a means of encouragement.

The musicianship is powerful, the recording sounds incredible, and I’m glad groups feel confident enough to listen to their radio performances and say “you know, this is good enough to release as our album.” I want to hear more from Foster, Poole, and Botten, not only as a trio but they can also add in a number of musicians to make things more festivel. I’d also like to hear them involved in any other sessions, and yet the chemistry here comes probably not only from being friends, but having an admiration of jazz that made them pick up instruments in the first place. - Music Blog:Music reviews, news, opinions + more

"CBC radio host on Foster's playing"

press quote

"One thing I appreciate about Tony Foster's playing,
is its very fresh phrasing..he kind of strikes sparks from the piano
with really inspired use of time that not many players seem to come by so easily."
- Katie Malloch, CBC Radio


NEWSFLASH! 10/27/09: In Between Moods will debut at #48 on JazzWeek Jazz Charts Next Week!

Tony Foster's acclaimed 2009 debut jazz trio release entitled "In Between Moods" is currently receiving airplay at 350 radio stations across the US and Canada.

You can also hear Tony's playing on jazz vocalist Dee Daniels' latest release entitled "Jazzinit"



NEWSFLASH! 10/29/09: Tony Foster's debut 2009 jazz release "In Between Moods" will debut at #48 on the Jazzweek jazz charts next week!

May 2009 marks the release of jazz pianist and composer Tony Foster's debut trio recording entitled "In Between Moods". The recording features Joe Poole on drums and Russell Botten on bass. The album showcases Foster's composing and arranging skills as well as tracks paying tribute to some of Foster's key influences including Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal. Foster's melancholy Colors of Siena has proven to be a favorite among many listeners both at live performances and those who have purchased the album. Foster composed the song upon visiting the beautiful medieval city of Siena in Italy, and being struck by the colors of the streets, and the famous piazza Il Campo. The song is a great contrast to the energetic Mr. J--written for Ahmad Jamal, an important influence on Foster's playing.

In April and May 2009 Foster completed a series of performances in Torino Italy and Nice France, followed by a return to Vancouver for featured shows with his trio at the June 2009 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Prior to his debut CD release, Foster has been featured with his own trio on CBC’s (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) nationally broadcast JAZZBEAT as well as the CBC program Hot Air produced by Neil Ritchie. Foster performs and tours frequently with his trio, as a solo pianist, as a sideman for many instrumentalists and vocalists, and sometimes at the Hammond B-3 organ.

Currently based in Seattle, Washington, Tony Foster was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He received his initial musical training early on, in the form of classical piano lessons privately. In school bands, his main instrument became the trumpet. His studies on the trumpet continued until college, and it was not until this time that his focus changed to piano. Foster began playing with various university ensembles on the piano (highlighted by performances with guests such as jazz saxophone legend Phil Woods), and graduated in 1996 from UBC (University of British Columbia) with a Commerce Degree. Eventually choosing to pursue a musical career, he was a 1998 recipient of the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship. Foster then participated in a residency at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 2000 where he studied jazz piano and performed with notable jazz artists including saxophonist David Liebman, multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson, pianist Kenny Werner, and bassist Ray Drummond.

Travel has played a large role in Foster’s musical career. He lived most of 2002 in Nice, France where he co-founded a live electronic music project called IDENTIFY with Russian saxophonist Dimitry Shapko which performed at the 2002 Midem International Music Market in Cannes, France, as well as touring the Cote d’Azur and dates in London, England. 2005 also saw him travel to and perform in Tokyo, and Osaka Japan. As a result of continued musical meetings in the south of France over the last 7 years, Foster is excited to be currently working on a new 2009 collaboration with Shapko.

Foster's playing and arranging can be heard on vocalist Dee Daniels' well-received 2007 Origin Records release entitled "Jazzinit". In February 2008, Foster was featured with internationally reknowned vocalist Dee Daniels at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow Idaho, with Jeff Hamilton on drums and Peter Washington on bass. Other recent performances with Dee Daniels include Bogota Colombia, and Bern Switzerland at Marian's Jazzroom. Foster has also performed as a special guest accompanist for Daniels along with the Vancouver Symphony at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

Over the past 10 years, in addition to performing with his own groups, Foster has been featured as a sideman numerous times at Vancouver’s annual International Jazz Festival in different settings which included live recordings for CBC Radio (CBC Jazz Café). Foster led a septet behind Canadian crooner Kenny Colman at the 2007 edition of the festival on the main stage, before a crowd of thousands.

Foster has been fortunate and honored to perform with notable jazz legends as Ernestine Anderson, Red Holloway, Sheila Jordan, Kenny Colman, Dee Daniels, Jeff Hamilton, and Peter Washington.