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Tony Peebles

Tony peebles with his saxophone in front of a music stand


Courses Taught

Applied Lessons

Modern Jazz Histories


MM Jazz Studies, University of the Arts, Philadelphia

BA Music, University of Pennsylvania


Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy

Huney Knuckles

Katchafire (2015-2019)


What is your hometown?

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 

What is your favorite recording? Why?

Among my man favorites are Joshua Redman's "Passage of Time" - it's just a beautiful record with some great writing and ensemble chemistry - and D'Angelo's "Voodoo" - a seminal work of jazz-inflected R&B from a modern-day master, also featuring the late, great Roy Hargrove. 

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Basketball. I'm a lifetime hooper and fan of the sport. 

Who were your major teachers?

Chris Farr, Ben Schachter

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

Direct emotional clarity", "Anything you do all the time will get old - to you, the other musicians, and the listener.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"How can I be as emotionally expressive as possible as a musician?" 

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Going to the weekly jam session at Natalie's Lounge in West Philadelphia throughout my undergrad, meeting the cats, and learning from the elders in the scene. 

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I would likely be involved in some sort of non-profit work around the crisis of homelessness. 

What is your daily practice routine?

The only part that is set is a sound regimen including mouthpiece pitch bends, articulation on the neck, and overtones.  

What do you think makes a concert experience unique?

Emotional content. Not everyone in the audience understands the form and details of a musical performance, but anyone can be captured by well-delivered emotional content. 

Please list your top awards and distinctions.

Featured soloist on Pacific Mambo Orchestra's 2014 Grammy Award-winning album, "Pacific Mambo Orchestra" 

What recordings can we hear you on? (Please list five or fewer and specify record label.)

Tony Peebles Quartet - "All Dogs Are Puppies To Me" (self-released)

Pacific Mambo Orchestra - "Pacific Mambo Orchestra", "The III Side"

Huney Knuckles - "Stratosphere"

Brian Andres and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel - "This Could Be That"


Over the past twenty years, Tony Peebles has performed in many different genres with such artists as: Fred Wesley (James Brown), The Grammy Award-Winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Karl Denson, Don Carlos, Lenny Williams (Tower of Power), Wil Blades, The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, Kenny Washington, John Lee Hooker Jr., Karl Perazzo (Santana), Katchafire, and Doc Severinsen to name just a few. Tony has toured Europe, Africa, North and South America with reggae legend Don Carlos, and throughout Europe, Australia and the Pacific islands with New Zealand’s busy, international touring band, Katchafire. With these groups and others, Tony has played numerous major music venues and festivals worldwide, from Monterey to Montreux. 

Tony maintains a very busy schedule in and around the SF Bay Area, performing with a wide variety of groups at the area’s best music venues: Yoshi’s, Black Cat, Mr. Tipples, Keys Jazz Bistro, The Independent, The Fillmore, Madrone Art Bar, The Boom Boom Room, and Mama Kin, where he hosts a popular weekly jazz jam session. 

He holds a BA in Music Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In addition to his performing career, Tony has taught the popular Jazz: Style and History course at the University of Pennsylvania, three years as the Middle School Music Teacher at Park Day School in Oakland, a wide variety of music enrichment programs at the elementary and high school levels, as well as private saxophone and improvisation lessons for students of all ages. He currently teaches in the Roots, Jazz and American Music program at the prestigious San Francisco Conservatory of Music.