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A Manhattan native, I started playing the bass guitar as a teenager. Mostly self-taught, I learned on the job and became an experienced professional musician in New York City by doing a great variety of recording sessions, shows, and live work. I then followed my interests and expanded my skills into songwriting, music production and recording, and composition. Now, through my teaching, I help others to acquire those skills.
Band / Performing
Since 2010 I’ve been singing my songs with my band (directly to your right!) to a growing following in NYC clubs such as The Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, the P&G Bar, The Underground, 78Below, and The Bitter End. Listen to (and download for free) my songs – which I’ve written, recorded, produced, and mixed – on the Music page.
Songwriting & Composing
- Wrote all songs on Tony Conniff & Band CD, ‘Let It Drown Me’
- Written over 75 original songs, 2010-2016, performed by Tony Conniff & Band
- Scored several films for fashion designer Gabriela Hearst
- Scored “Bowery Dish”, an acclaimed Documentary about the changes on NYC’s Bowery, in rotation on the Sundance Channel.
- Scored for ABC News, CBS News, Discovery Channel, BET, A&E’s Biography, others
- Composed music and song parodies for Air America radio network
- Co-writes songs with Frank Conniff for his show ‘Cartoon Dump’, as well as for Frank’s Podcast 90 series of musical comedies. Listen or download for free: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podhouse-90/id567057144
- Nominated for Outmusic Songwriter Of The Year Award for co-writing songs on Alix Olson’s CD, “Built Like That”
- Scored the award-winning independent Feature Film, “Slings And Arrows”
- Scored the nationally syndicated PBS special, “Love Letter To New York”. Co-wrote the title song
- Written songs and underscores for clients including PBS, HBO, ESPN, Time Warner, etc.
- Co-written with artists I’ve produced, including Alix Olson, Marion LoGuidice, Saqi Dosaj, Cheyell Omar.
- Written numerous Children’s Music songs and scores, particularly many “Slim Goodbody” TV specials, nationally syndicated on PBS
I’ve been teaching since 1999 and created Tony Conniff Songwriting Workshops in 2007. I currently offer workshops and private coaching in Songwriting, Music Recording/Production, Garageband, LogicPro, and more. I also teach at the Gotham Writing School and the Collective School of Music as well as recently being a visiting lecturer at Drexel University and Bloomfield College.
To learn more, visit the Workshops page.
And click here for a teaching-related article about me.
Producing / Recording / Mixing
I’m a founding member and current chairperson of the New York Music Producers group, as well as a former member of NARAS’ New York Producers and Engineers Wing Committee.
My productions and arrangements are always oriented towards serving and enhancing the song and the singer. I take pride in the sonic quality of the recordings and mixes that come out of my studio.
I was nominated for Outmusic’s Producer Of The Year Award for his work on Alix Olson’s acclaimed debut CD, “Built Like That” (“The music matches the word perfectly. Dynamic, emotional and raw.” – Collected Sounds)
Recent production projects include songs for Director/ Screenwriter (Mississippi Burning, Citizen X, Over There) Chris Gerolmo’s movie for USA Network, Certain Prey, starring Mark Harmon; producing, recording, and mixing the debut CDs of Larry Stern, and Peter Kleinhans, as well as releases by Kristina Semos, Jade Yerganian, James Baker, and Mariana Ocejo.
I produced, recorded, mixed and edited all the audio for the entire Collective Contemporary Styles series of Books/CDs, recently published by Carl Fischer Music, one of America’s most prominent music publishers. This constitutes over a dozen hours of music performed by modern master player/teachers, incorporating the styles of Jazz, Rock, R&B, Funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Fusion (all in both contemporary and traditional styles), and others.
I’ve produced, arranged, recorded and mixed CDs for Marion LoGuidice (Dirty Goddess), Chris Gerolmo, Stacy Harshman, Hunt Taylor and Contango, Melineh Kurdian, Heather Pirie, Meg Flather (co-produced with Larry Saltzman), international blues singer Bronco Bob, spoken word artist Saqi Dosaj, Irish actress and singer-songwriter Marion Tomas-Griffin, and Ann Marie Milazzo (East Village Opera Co., Spring Awakening), and Ray Fortunato, as well as individual tracks for Sam Harris, Carly Ozard, Helga Kaefer, Susan Simonson, and actor/ songwriter Robert Sean Leonard. I recently recorded and mixed Anette Norgaard’s debut CD, ‘A North Node’, for producer Charlie Demos.
I produced the title track for the widely-shown documentary “The McCourts of Limerick” and co-produced and -arranged the title song for the move “The Tao Of Steve”.
At my studio, I use and am a specialist in LogicPro Audio for recording and scoring, as well as utilizing other software programs, instruments, and plug-ins, Avalon and Grace mic pre-amps, and AKG, Audio-Technica, Shure, and Beyer microphones, etc.
I started my musical career as a bass guitarist and continue to develop on the instrument, playing live and recording regularly. I use vintage Fender 4 string basses, customized by Roger Sadowsky and maintained by Norio Imai, and a Music Man Sting Ray 5 string.
As a bassist I’ve played and/ or recorded with, among others, The Golden Palominos, Shawn Colvin, Marc Shaiman, Alix Olson, Judy Collins, Phoebe Snow, Peter Allen, Lori Carson, Victoria Williams, Phyllis Hyman, Steve Forbert, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, Steven Bernstein, Peter Gordon and The Love Of Life Orchestra, David Van Tieghem, Pierce Turner, Patty Scialfa-Springsteen, Bob Telson (Gospel At Colonus), Steve Goodman, Longhouse, The Main Ingredient, David Amram, Doane Perry (Jethro Tull), Sam Harris, Lamont Dozier, Lenny Pickett, Viva DiConcini, Patty Griffin (10 Million Miles), John Kelly, Cornell Dupree, and Sneaky Cookin’ (w. Howie Wyeth and Michael Brecker). As a member of NY blues band Porkchop Willie, I was inducted last year into the New York Blues Hall Of Fame!
I served as Musical Director and bassist for John Kelly in his triumphant performance of the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s Court And Spark album at New York’s River To River Festival, as well as for the Neil Diamond Hot August Night tribute at the R2R Festival.
I was in the house band for the Live TV broadcast of Night Of Too Many Stars, with Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, and Adam Sandler.
I played on the original soundtrack albums of the Broadway hits, “Once On This Island” and “Romance, Romance”. As well as performing in the Broadway runs of those shows, I’ve played on Broadway in Rent, Hairspray, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Shrek, Cats, Big River, and many others, and Off-Broadway in Patty Griffin’s musical hit Ten Million Miles at the Atlantic Theater Co.
I played on recent CDs by Tamara Hey (Miserably Happy), TamLin Music (Floating World), Charlie Demos, and Cassis.
Along with performing in the film, I’m featured playing on the soundtrack of the hit movie, “Camp” (now available on DVD and CD). I’ve also played on the soundtracks of Bertolucci’s “Stealing Beauty”, Disney’s “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame”, and “The Tao Of Steve”, as well as many TV shows and too many jingles to mention.
I’ve also served as Musical Director for numerous local artists and bands, including Elaine Caswell, Ann Marie Milazzo (East Village Opera Co., Spring Awakening) and the Off-Broadway show, “The Long Road Home”, by Kathy Sommer and Barry Harmon.