Tony Monaco

Captain Foldback's

Organist of the Month, April 2007


Photograph used with kind permission

Tony Monaco is one of the top tier jazz organists of today, known not only in North America but around the world. Even though he is known for playing 'classic' organ jazz, Tony is also versatile in styles such as funk and blues. Check out his website at - there's lots of multi-media and even a podcast there.

Virtual interview with the captain

1. Name
Tony Monaco

2. Place(s) I call home
Columbus Ohio

3. Style(s) I play
Jazz, Blues, Funk, Latin, Rock and Groove

4. Current CD/project
Organ Driven Rock Classics
I plan on taking classic organ driven rock tunes and jamming them out!

5. A person who inspired me to play the Hammond
Jimmy Smith


6. Do you use a Leslie speaker? Yes
   If yes, is there anything you can share about how you use it?
I use the Leslie not only as a speaker, but actually as part of the integral sound. The Leslie is a big part of our sound and it compliments and is actually used in conjunction with the Hammond to create sounds that are unique to our style.  

7. Do you often play the bass line on the organ?  Always
   If yes, how do you do it?
I use my left hand and left foot together to create the bass. Actually I think like a bass player and listen to bass players to learn this skill. It takes a long time to coordinate this style but necessary if one wants to play organ like Jimmy Smith invented!

8. Do you use the percussion effects in your organ? Yes
   If yes, what is your most used percussion setting?
3rd Harmonic on Soft with slow or fast decay depending on how the percussion sounds for each tune that it is used!

9. Do you have a drawbar setting that is your own? Yes
   If yes, can we know it?  488400008,  C3 Chorus and Leslie on Brake

10. Is there anything that defines 'your sound'?  My Soul :) To develop your own sound, first it is necessary to learn other organists style and play many years until your own style emerges! It is from this point that your own voice comes through!

Thanks, Tony!