Tony Miceli

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Tony Miceli
Tony Miceli.JPG
Tony Miceli with his Malletech Vibraphone
Background information
Born (1960-07-01) July 1, 1960 (age 57)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Vibraphone, marimba
Years active 1976-present
Associated acts Monkadelphia, The Jost Project, David Friedman, Dave Liebman, Steve Slagle, Dave Stryker, Peter Bernstein, Gerald Veasley

Tony Miceli (born July 1, 1960) is an American jazz vibraphonist and educator. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey.

He is on the faculty of the University of the Arts[1] and Temple University[2] and performs in jazz clubs. He has played jazz standards, jazz interpretations of classical music (a repertoire that includes Villa Lobos, Mozart, and Bach)[3] Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and other rock musicians from the 1960s.

Michelli has worked with David Friedman, Joe Magnarelli, Dave Liebman, Elio Villafranca, Steve Slagle, Dave Stryker, Peter Bernstein, Gerald Veasley, and Joanna Pascale.

After graduating with a Bachelors in Performance from the University of the Arts in 1982, he began a career that included composing, recording, teaching, and performing. Some of the venues and festivals he has played include Degu Jazz Festival (Korea), The Reading Jazz Festival, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Jazz Standard, The Zinc Bar, 55 Bar, The Wexford Art Center (Ireland), and The Mallet Institute (Dusseldorf Germany). He is the creator and moderator of the Vibraphone Community Website.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Cincinnati to a businessperson father and police officer mother, Miceli was drawn to music at an early age, starting on classical guitar before turning to drums, piano, and trumpet. He played drums in a high school band called Minas Tirith. After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School, and uncertain what to study at college, he suggested drums to his father, and his father helped him prepare.

From 1978–1982, Micelli attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where the vibraphone caught his eye and ear. He spent so much time on vibraphone that he neglected his study of timpani, snare drum, and marimba. His teacher fought for him, and he passed.[4]

80's and early 90's[edit]

In the 1980s and early 90s, Miceli toured extensively through Germany with the percussion group “Mallet Madness”. Featuring Miceli on vibraphone with Ron Von Strattun (drums), Bernd Zinzius (Bass) and Christoph Eidens (vibes and marimba), Mallet Madness played jazz versions of rock songs, in a trio reminiscent of the guitar trios of the 60's, with vibraphone replacing guitar as the feature instrument. The group played clubs and festivals throughout Continental Europe including: Schlag. Wekstatt, Jazz Fruhling, Deutsches Percussion – Symposium, Stadtgarten Restaurant, Rundfunk, K14, Blue Stage, Mulheimer Jazz Club, and the Essen Jazz Festival.

In 1995, and back in Philadelphia, Miceli started "The Rock Band" with bassist Kevin MacConnell and Drummer Harry "Butch" Reed. A result of Miceli's early Rock Music influences, the group covered several British Invasion bands including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, and Jimi Hendrix.[5] This group ultimately became "The Jost Project" when vocalist Paul Jost was added to the lineup.[6]


In the late 1990s Miceli created the Philadelphia-based group Monkadelphia, a group "dedicated to performing the music of Thelonious Monk in an innovative, contemporary way."[7] Playing Monk's work, along, with Chris Farr on saxophone, Tom Lawton on piano, Micah Jones on bass, and Jim Miller on drums, was a "difficult challenge which they embrace with vitality, panache, and sophistication."[8] The group recorded a selection of 11 tracks called simply "Monkadelphia" in 2000 (Dreambox Media).[9]

Career in 2000s[edit]

In addition to teaching at Temple, the University of the Arts, and at various workshops in North America and Europe, Miceli has a busy playing and recording schedule. Mostly playing in the Philadelphia area, he makes regular trips to Germany and Ireland to teach a Master Class in jazz improvisation.[10] When in Europe he is a regular in the Band Thelonious 4, another all-Monk band, based out of the Netherlands, and an Irish tribute band to the Modern Jazz Quartet.

In October 2007 he played with comedian Joe Piscopo at Philadelphia's Chris' Jazz Cafe. Piscopo had met Miceli when he waas looking for a vibraphone player for a performance at a casino in upstate New York.[11][12]

Miceli regularly teaches master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.[edit]

In 2008 Tony Miceli created the website Vibes Workshop for vibraphone players, students, teachers, and aficionados. Known as something of an "outright evangelist for the instrument",[13] Miceli started the site with a view to creating an online community of vibe players to help spread the word about the instrument, and create opportunities for those who play and teach it. With over 3,000 members it is the de facto online headquarters for the vibraphone industry and includes regular lessons by world class players such as Gary Burton, Joe Locke, Ed Saindon and David Friedman. One of the features of the website is hosting regular online "vibe hangs" from various master classes being taught by Miceli around the world, where local masters and students share via web stream with others who are passionate about the vibraphone.


As leader[edit]

  • Thelonious 4 Meets Tony Miceli (Dot Time, 2013)
  • Alone Together with Diane Monroe (2014)
  • 4,042 Miles (Audio & Video Labs, 2015)

As member

  • Monkadelphia, Monkadelphia (Dreambox Media, 2000)
  • Crepuscule, Monkadelphia (Dreambox, 2010)
  • Can't Find My Way Home, The Jost Project (Dot Time, 2013)
  • Looking East, The Philly 5 (2003)
  • On a Sweet Note, Electric Mingus Project (2003)

As guest[edit]

  • Alligator, Leslie West (1989)
  • Band Shapes, Olivier Hutman (2002)
  • 'Round in Circles, Ron Kerber (Dreambox, 2004)
  • Excerpt This!, Adam Unsworth (2006)
  • So in Love with You, Rosie Carlino (2006)
  • Places, Mark Knox (2007)
  • Maplewood Avenue, Jimmy Bruno (2007)
  • Once Upon a Time, Katie Eagleson (2007)
  • Medicine Man, Tom Tallitsch (2008)
  • Thankfully, Gina Roche (2011)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Tony Miceli | The University of the Arts". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Boyer College of Music and Dance | Temple University". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Schermer, Victor (5 February 2006). ""Mozart: Reloaded": A Jazz and Classical Multimedia "Salon"". All About Jazz. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Orchestra Percussion Students". 26 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Bruce. (February 3, 1995) "Band bridges gap between rock and jazz". Courier Post, p 9E, 19E.
  6. ^ About the Jost Project Paul Jost Music Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. ^ Schermer, Victor L. - Mallet Magic. All About Jazz website, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  8. ^ Schermer, Victor L. - Monkadelphia: All Monk, All the Time. All About Jazz website, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Monkadelphia Monkadelphia Dreambox Media Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Limerick Jazz Tony Miceli Quartet plays the music of MJQ Limerick Jazz Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  11. ^ Takiff, Johathan (October 27, 2006). "Joe Piscopo, the Singer". Philadelphia Daily News
  12. ^ Klein, Michael (October 10, 2006). "Inqlings | Region is down one in radio markets". Philadelphia Inquirer
  13. ^ Brady, Shaun (August 9, 2012) Tony Miceli Vibes Night Philadelphia City Paper Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.