Tony Miceli

Last updated

Tony Miceli
Tony Miceli and Vibraphone.jpg
Tony Miceli and Vibraphone
Background information
Born (1960-07-01) July 1, 1960 (age 60)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Vibraphone, marimba
Years active1976-present
Associated actsMonkadelphia, The Jōst 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] Temple University [2] and University of Southern Mississippi. He also performs in jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals around the world. 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.

Miceli 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 (Düsseldorf Germany). He is the creator and moderator of the Vibraphone Community Website.

Early life and career

Miceli was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960 and grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey. He began to play classical guitar in his youth before later turning to piano, trumpet and drums. It was in college that he and the vibraphone cemented an unbreakable bond of mutual give and take. Philadelphia now claims him as its own as he settled there in 1978 while attending the University of the Arts, where he is now an adjunct associate professor. He also teaches at Temple's Boyer College of Music and was a guest lecturer at the Curtis Institute of Music. Miceli connects with a growing group of musicians living in the Germantown neighborhood who are revitalizing its jazz scene with local performances, jams and a new recording studio.

80s and early 90s

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. [4] This group ultimately became "The Jōst Project" when vocalist Paul Jost was added to the lineup in the 2000s. [5]


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." [6] 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." [7] The group recorded a selection of 11 tracks called simply "Monkadelphia" in 2000 (Dreambox Media). [8]


2018 saw Miceli issue his latest CD, Invitation, an album of solos that expresses warmth and clarity. Standards like Jimmy Van Heusen's “But Beautiful” sound so effortless they float. Gloria Krolak, host of Good Vibes, the only radio program dedicated to the vibraphone, noted recently “Miceli’s compass points to tunes with no end of nuance and subtlety. He gives the phrase ‘soft touch’ a whole new meaning.”

As the originator of The Jōst Project, with vocalist Paul Jōst, Miceli racked up two more wins with albums that plug into new generations for jazz by playing the classic rock they grew up with. The first, Peace and Love, was released in 2017, then Can’t Find My Way Home in 2013. Miceli also appears on Jōst’s 2014 Breaking Through. A champion of rock-inspired repertory, Miceli moves easily from one genre to another. Also in 2014, violinist Diane Monroe and Miceli collaborated on a duo album, Alone Together. Wrote Victor Schermer on the All About Jazz website, “Monroe and Miceli are adept and resilient musicians of the highest caliber, so they are able to weave their combined sounds into many expressive variations that create ‘tone poems’ and tell stories.”

In 2009 Miceli's group Monkadelphia released Crepuscle, a follow-up to Monkadelphia, both devoted to the revolutionary jazz pianist himself, performing his music in an innovative, contemporary way.

Miceli has performed at jazz festivals and clubs too numerous to list. A partial roll call starts at Hilton Head Island's Jazz Vibes Showcase in 2019 with Team Omega, then to the Daegu Festival in Daegu, Korea; the International Percussion Festival in Lima, Peru; the Limerick Jazz Festival in Ireland; and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Closer to home he has played at the Jazz Bridge Concert Series, Peace Day Kickoff, the Rhythm Festival, Please Touch Museum Jazz Festival, all in Philadelphia, as well as those in Media, Reading and Dauphin County, PA, and the Longwood Gardens Festivals. The Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ and the Somers Point Jazz Festival in Somers Point, NJ; the Rehoboth Beach Festival in Delaware, and the Vail Colorado Jazz Festival have all hosted Miceli.

Miceli plays with the highest caliber musicians. As a group leader, sideman, and recording artist, he has performed with numerous top musicians including David Liebman, Jimmy Bruno, Ken Peplowski, John Blake, Diane Monroe, John Swana, Joe Magnarelli, Steve Slagle, Larry McKenna, Gerald Veasley and many others. Chris's Jazz Café, Philadelphia's premier jazz club, is a frequent gig for Miceli and friends, and he performs annually at the Percussive Arts Society convention in Indianapolis.

Internationally known on the web, Miceli provides online instruction, information, and video interactive classes. He is proprietor of Miceli Music, LLC., incorporating the website:, which currently offers He enjoys endorsements with:  Malletech; Applied Microphone Technologies and Beiner Bags.

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", [9] 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

As member

As guest

See also

Related Research Articles

Vibraphone Musical instrument

The vibraphone is a musical instrument in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion family. It consists of tuned metal bars and is usually played by holding two or four soft mallets and striking the bars. A person who plays the vibraphone is called a vibraphonist,vibraharpist, or vibist.

Lionel Hampton American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor

Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, and bandleader. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1996.

Bobby Hutcherson American jazz vibraphone and marimba player

Robert Hutcherson was an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. "Little B's Poem", from the 1966 Blue Note album Components, is one of his best-known compositions. Hutcherson influenced younger vibraphonists including Steve Nelson, Joe Locke, and Stefon Harris.

Roy Ayers American funk, soul, and jazz composer, vibraphone player, and music producer

Roy Ayers is an American funk, soul, and jazz composer, vibraphone player, and music producer. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk. He is a key figure in the acid jazz movement, and has been dubbed "The Godfather of Neo Soul". He is best known for his compositions "Everybody Loves the Sunshine", "Searchin", and "Running Away". At one time, he was said to have more sampled hits by rappers than any other artist.

Gary Burton American vibraphonist

Gary Burton is an American jazz vibraphonist, composer, and educator. Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an alternative to the prevailing two-mallet technique. This approach caused him to be heralded as an innovator, and his sound and technique are widely imitated. He is also known for pioneering fusion jazz and popularizing the duet format in jazz, as well as being a major figure in music education from his 30 years at the Berklee College of Music.

Terry Gibbs American vibraphonist

Terry Gibbs is an American jazz vibraphonist and band leader.

Peter Appleyard Canadian vibraphonist

Peter Appleyard, was a British–Canadian jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer. He spent most of his life living and performing in the city of Toronto where for many years he was a popular performer in the city's nightclubs and hotels. He also played and recorded with many of the city's orchestras and been featured on Canadian television and radio programs. In the early 1970s he drew wide acclaim for his performances with Benny Goodman's jazz sextet with which he toured internationally. In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his being an "internationally renowned vibraphonist [who] has represented the Canadian jazz community across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia".

Tom Collier is a multi-instrumental percussionist and vibraphonist, with a career in music spanning more than fifty years. He has performed and recorded as a session musician with many important jazz, classical, and popular artists. He has also performed and recorded with his own jazz group and has released solo albums. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1980.

D. J. Bonebrake American punk drummer

Donald J. Bonebrake is an American musician from California who first emerged as the drummer of the punk rock band the Eyes. He is best known as an original member of and drummer for punk band X, of which he is still an active member.

Douglas William Walter, DMA is Professor of Percussion at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music, and was the first marimba and vibraphone artist to win a First Prize in the Concert Artists Guild Competition in NYC.

Steve Shapiro American musician

Steve Shapiro is an American music producer, session musician, and jazz vibraphonist.

Warren Chiasson is a Canadian jazz vibraphonist who is a pioneer of the four-mallet vibraphone technique.

Gerald Veasley American musician

Gerald Veasley is an American jazz bass guitarist.

Lotus (American band) American instrumental electronic jam band

Lotus is an instrumental electronic jam band formed in Indiana in 1999 now based in Philadelphia, PA and Denver, CO.

Warren Wolf (musician) jazz musician

Warren Wolf Jr. is an American jazz vibraphonist from Baltimore, Maryland.

Wolfgang Lackerschmid German jazz musician and composer

Wolfgang Lackerschmid is a German jazz musician, bandleader and composer. His main instrument is the vibraphone, but he also plays many other percussion instruments. Lackerschmid grew up in Ehingen and now lives in Augsburg, where he operates a recording studio.

Emmanuel Séjourné born July 16, 1961 in Limoges, is a French composer and percussionist, and head of percussion at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg. His music is influenced by Western classical music and by popular music.

Christos Rafalides Greek jazz vibraphonist and composer

Christos Rafalides is a Greek jazz vibraphonist, composer, and educator.

Anthony Kerr is a British jazz vibraphone player, who has performed and recorded internationally with Georgie Fame, Charlie Watts, BBC Big Band, Robbie Williams, Joe Lovano, Jacqui Dankworth, and Courtney Pine. His compositions have been broadcast on BBC Radio.

Suzanne Cloud American singer

Suzanne Cloud is an American jazz singer, writer, and teacher.


  1. "Tony Miceli | The University of the Arts". Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  2. "Boyer College of Music and Dance | Temple University". Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  3. Schermer, Victor (February 5, 2006). ""Mozart: Reloaded": A Jazz and Classical Multimedia "Salon"". All About Jazz. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  4. Anderson, Bruce. (February 3, 1995) "Band bridges gap between rock and jazz". Courier Post, p 9E, 19E.
  5. About the Jost Project Paul Jost Music Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  6. Schermer, Victor L. - Mallet Magic. All About Jazz website, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. Schermer, Victor L. - Monkadelphia: All Monk, All the Time. All About Jazz website, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  8. Monkadelphia Monkadelphia Dreambox Media Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  9. Brady, Shaun (August 9, 2012) Tony Miceli Vibes Night Archived April 13, 2013, at Philadelphia City Paper Website 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.