Tony Roe (1979) began playing the piano at the age of six. From an early age on he studied with conservatorium-trained teachers, submitting to an intense study regimen and performing in various prestigious national competitions. He started studying classical piano with Rian de Waal at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He eventually enrolled in the School of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University. However, driven by a strong interest in music technology and electronics he also studied in Music Technology at the High school of Arts in Utrecht, and performed as keyboard player and sound designer in several bands.
But music soon trumped his engineering aspirations. In 2002 Tony was accepted at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where he studied with Kris Goessens, Karel Boehlee and Rob van Bavel. Tony became increasingly enchanted by jazz, abd graduated in 2009 as performing jazz pianist with a “10 with distinction” (A++).
It was during his time at the Conservatory that Tony began to incorporate electronics into live jazz performance and to cross the borders with contemporary classical music. He benefitted from regular visits to New York where he took classes with Ari Hoenig, Jason Moran and Jean-Michel Pilc. Upon his graduation Tony was invited into the doctoral program in musical arts – docARTES – running at the Orpheus Institute in Gent, Belgium. He began his studies there in September 2010. His research aims at finding new ways of improvisation in jazz music, using visuals and other media that are fully interactive with the music.
In 2009 Tony established Tin Men and the Telephone, a piano-trio that fully integrates multi-media elements in their shows. Tin Men serves as Tony’s doctoral laboratory, so to speak. E.g. in 2012 they released an interactive app that allows the audience to participate in their live performances. They have been performing internationally at many jazz clubs and festivals, among which the London Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Jazzdor, BMW Welt Jazz Award 2014 Finals, Amman Jazz Festival. Tin Men has been gaining great acclaim, in particular because of its unusual interactive improvisations; Tony’s doctoral research is already proving very worthwhile, even before completion.
In 2014 Tony was invited to create the North Sea Jazz Composition. For this prestigious assignment Tony decided to create a completely new ensemble, which he named Art of the Eyebrow. The line-up, consisting of a string trio, bass clarinet, piano, dancer and interactive visuals allowed him to explore again a new approach to integrate electronics in live acoustic music. The visuals and music are based on the idea of different spaces and physical movement. By changing the context of the music and visuals the audience is challenged to listen and experience in a different way. By isolating, emphasizing, and disrupting parts of the performance nothing seems what it looks like, or sounds like.
In recent years, Tony has performed and toured with Tin Men & the Telephone (TM&TT) as well as several other ensembles and bands. Among them are the Asko Schönberg ensemble, Room Eleven (Universal), Jacob TV, NBE, ISH, Vocaallab, Tetzepi, Tarhanna, OOOO, and Yuri Honing. Tony has played at many stages in the Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Japan, the Netherlands, Serbia, and South Africa.
Tony in Splendor:
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