Tony Purrone

Tony Purrone


Tony Purrone is one of the world’s finest jazz and improvisational guitarists. His Trio delights and wows audiences as he finesses and blazes his way through jazz classics as well as dynamic and beautiful originals. He is accompanied by power houses, Dave Anderson (bass) and Thierry Arpino (drums).


Tony Purrone was born and raised in Connecticut. His love affair with the guitar started with his first lesson at age nine. His early ability, expressed across a diversity of styles, led to acceptance by the University of Bridgeport Jazz Ensemble at only 15. Four years later, while still a student, he performed with the Don Elliott Quintet and the Gerry Mulligan Sextet. Shortly thereafter, he came to the attention of Jimmy Heath and was invited to join the Heath Brothers Band, going on to record five albums on CBS and ISLAND-ANTILLES in between touring the world. Tony's work expanded beyond the Heath Brothers Band enabling him to carve his own impressive niche in the jazz world. Jimmy Heath so rightly named Tony as: "One of the world's greatest guitarists..."

Today, Tony Purrone is recognized as one of the most accomplished improvisational guitarists of our time. Displaying a broad range of fingerboard talent, Tony Purrone has an uncanny knack for tastefully blending blindingly fast arpeggios with soothing, lyrical passages that form the unique musical architecture and "story-telling with notes" that earned Tony a 5-star rating in Downbeat Magazine. Here are a few quotes from the press about Tony:

"Remember this name: Tony Purrone. He was the guitarist in Ed Thigpen's trio, and his speed and fluidity bring to mind DiMeola and Martino, while the two tunes he wrote for Mr. Taste (entitled simply "Ballad" and "Tony's Blues") attest to a unique "musicality".
--Mac Randall, Musician Magazine

"...a strong and assertive guitarist, becomes the invigorating focus of the quartet. His bold, bright colors are a tonic... and his physical involvement with his guitar is a visual stimulant."
-- John S. Wilson, NY Times

"[his] fiery-fingered wizardry brought down the house more than once. "
--W. Royal Stokes, The Washington Post

"In the midst of these excursions, Purrone combined Wes Montgomery lyricism with a bite and adventure that Pat Metheny would applaud, just the right stylistic compliment to Heath."
--Bob Young, The Boston Herald

In addition to his work with the Heath Brothers, Tony has performed and recorded with many of the greats of jazz including: Frank Foster and the Count Basie Band, Jerome Richardson, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, Pepper Adams, Paquito D'Rivera, Sal Nistico, Nick Brignola, Bill Barron, Dave Leibman, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Brecker, Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis, Donald Byrd, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman band members, Stanley Cowell, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, the Trio (3) with Pete Levin, Lenny White, Stanley Clarke, his own groups, and more.

Notable Performances
Tony occasionally appears with Jimmy Heath as a special guest, most notably: an Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center) performance with the three Heath Bros., Wynton Marsalis, and the late Joe Henderson as well as the Jazzmobile 35th anniversary gala concert at Lincoln Center's Avery Fischer Hall, hosted by Bill Cosby. Tony made a special guest appearance on the latest reunion Heath Bros. release on CONCORD records, "The Jazz Family" as well as live performances on three SS Norway floating jazz festival cruises, and at the legendary Blue Note, Village Vanguard and Birdland jazz clubs in New York City.

Other noteworthy engagements include:
* Monte Carlo Johnny 'n Jazz Festival—Monaco
* NAMM Shows West, Anaheim, CA.
* Five Guitars Play Mingus performances in NYC.
* Urbanator European Tour with Michael Urbaniak & Tom Browne.
* Classic American Guitar Shows- L.I., NY.
* Frank Foster Big Band performances.
* Two Southern Arts Federation Tours
* Other Music Festivals include: Telluride, Colorado; Rockford, Illinois; Flint, Michigan; Montreal, Canada; Bethel Woods, NY and San Francisco, CA.

The Tony Purrone Trio
Tony's amazing jazz and improvisational guitar are complimented by bassist, Dave Anderson and drummer, Thierry Arpino. He has worked with Dave for more than 12 years including recording a number of CD’s together. Thierry Arpino has worked with Tony for more than 7 years and has performed with jazz legends such as Jon-Luc Ponty, Randy Brecker and Larry Coryell, among others.

Tony has recorded ten CD’s and has also recorded with some of the top names in jazz. He also participated in two Grammy nominated albums, "Heath Brothers Live at the Public Theater"and "Jimmy Heath-Little Man, Big Band".

Tony has released an incredible ten CD's. Two notables, "Guitarisk" & "Incubation" are receiving frequent airplay on the New York areas hottest jazz radio station, WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. Tony's most recent CD, "Live At The Red Door" was released in 2006.

Tony has recorded with Jimmy Heath on the LANDMARK, VERVE, and STEEPLECHASE labels, Ed Thigpen on the REACTION label and is the featured guitar soloist along with bassist, Stanley Clarke, on the song "Dark" co-written with Lenny White (on Lenny's CD, "Present Tense" (HIP BOP records). His recording in July 1991 with Ed Thigpen on


Tony Purrone CD's:
Live At the Red Door
The Tonester
In The Heath Zone
Set 'em Up
Six-String Delight
Electric Poetry

Albums Where Tony Recorded With Others:
Heath Brothers Live at the Public Theater*
Jimmy Heath-Little Man, Big Band*
You've Changed (Jimmy Heath)
You or Me (Jimmy Heath)
Organic Grooves (Lonnie Smith)
Present tense (Lenny White)

*Grammy nominated albums

All-star recording with the late Grover Washington, Kenny Garrett, Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Idris Muhammed, and Lenny White on HIP BOP records

Set List

The set list can range from performing jazz classics to performing originals and can go from an hour to several hours (of usually one hour sets). A venue that is more suited to a set list of traditional jazz would not include as many originals. Each is is built for the specific show. Songs could include, but not be limited to, the following:

Cantoloupe Island
Gibson Boy
-D- Waltz
How Deep Is The Ocean
Fleur d'ennui
You've Changed
Tell Me A Bedtime Story
Fungii Mama
Heads Up Feet Down
After PM
Is That So
Two Moods for Cheryl
Kharma at Dharma
Taste This!
T for Tito
Chewin on the Left Side