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Tony Monaco: Master Chops T

R.J. DeLuke By

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AAJ: Great. Is there anybody you’d like to play with out there that you haven’t? Obviously, you’ve played with Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco. Anybody else on your wish list?

Monaco: Well, I love Dr. Lonnie Smith. I think he’s a phenomenal organ player. I love so many of these guys. I love to play with anybody, really. There’s so many great musicians out there. I just played with a monster last night that’s unknown. His name is Gene Walker. He’s a saxophonist. I had so much fun with the guy. He’s been on the road with the Beatles, he’s played with George Benson. This guy lives in Columbus and he plays like you wouldn’t believe. I love to play with anybody that’s good.

AAJ: You’d like to do more recording in the future?

Monaco: Absolutely. But I do have one long-term ultimate goal that I would like to do. This is down the road. But at some point and time in my life, I would love to have my own recording studio and actually produce youngsters and try to help them get out there. That’s my real goal. To take some enthusiastic kid, who could have been me when I was 16 years old, and recognize his talent and try to help the guy. Cause it’s so hard.

AAJ: Yeah. There’s a lot of people around that that have the talent, but nobody notices them.

Monaco: There’s not an industry big enough to afford to suck them in.

AAJ: It’s easy to get discouraged and go off and do something else.

Monaco: And I see that all the time. Great players that really have it together, but they just don’t play anymore because it’s not worth it for them to pull out their axe, you know? That’s what I would love to do. And it’s gonna happen. I believe in God and I believe that I’m doing the right thing. I try to treat people right and I try to always examine my motives for everything I do. As long as I have a clean heart and a clean slate, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. There’s a reason why I met Joey two years ago and not 12 years ago. Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I had to be there for my dad when he died. Maybe I had to be there for my kids when they got on the school bus. Who knows why things happen the way they do, you know?

Visit Tony Monaco on the web at www.b3monaco.com .

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