Q: Tell us the brief history of your musical career.
A: After years of playing in the background I started my band about 10 years ago. Igrew up playing with My Dad Merl Saunders and my influences were many. With my Dad I played with Jerry Garcia and other members of the Grateful Dead, Martha Reeves, Buffy St Marie, David Soul, Johnny Mathis and toured with him in his Bands.
I have played with Dave Liebman, Chaka Kahn, Joe Sample, David Crosby, The Hawkins Family, Eric Clapton, Dr John and many others. I have 4 CD’s out on San Francisco Records and the latest release Sexy Somethin was Co-Produced by Gail Jhonson, Nils, Ray Chew and Magic Mendez. I also got to play with Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown, Marion Meadows, Jeff Ryan, Donald Hayes, Paul Jackson Jr, and Norbert
Stachel on the project. My music is racing to the forefront in Smooth Jazz Music and my Live Band is pulling its weight to make sure the sound is full and the audience is lifted up as they hear the music. I also produce other artist and have won 2 Emmys. I have been lucky enough to play with Gerald Albright, Jessie J, Sinbad and Grammy
winners Bill Champlin, Tony Lindsay and Howard Hewett. “I Romance the Bass as I Romance Life”
Q: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
A: George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Brian Bromberg, Stanley Clarke and My Dad Merl Saunders. Non-Musical Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlin, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana and Willie Mays.
Q: What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?
A: I have three: Getting to play so many genres of music and getting to produce and write music. Winning the Emmys was an awesome feeling. Getting to be around so many legends in Jazz jimmy Smith, Stanley Turenttine, Sonny Rollins, Dave Liebman, Dexter
Gordon and my God father Wynton Kelly was something I will never forget.
Q: What's new in the recording of your music? How has your music changed over the years?
A: Every CD gets better and better. I started out doing everything Mixing, producing, playing and writing the music. I always have the vibe for a great song but on this project I pulled in people that were great at what they do also. The result is a great project. I also recorded in LA a lot on this project and using people who play on lots
of projects really makes a difference. What’s also new is I am playing great and letting others add their thing with less restrictions. It not that my other CD’s aren’t good. I just felt the best about this one. The people who co-produced the CD with me where all great!!! Thus a great project!!!
Q: What inspires you to write the music you write? What made you want to play the instrument you play?
A:My emotions and my heart make me write what I feel deep inside my soul. I saw 2 bass players play Lee Miles who played with Miles Davis and Anthony Davis who was playing with Walter Hawkins. After seeing them both play on projects produced by my Dad there was nothing else I wanted to do. Now 50 years later I am still doing it...
Q: If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?.
A: My dad and Ray Chew on keys. Doc Powell and Calvin Keys on guitar, Dave Liebman & Pee Wee Ellis on horns, Gaylord Birch & Eddie Moore on Drums. We would play on the Island of Corsica....
Q: How does music affect the world around you?
A: It’s all I do everyday. I wake up daily inspired to do something creative in music. My whole world is music and people know that I am a nice giving person because of my music. There is nothing better than to know the blessing I have been given to play music. I smile daily because of my gift.
Q: If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
A: I would make it so all music could be heard. When you eliminate radio in certain genres it makes touring harder for people in that genre. Even out the playing field and pay proper royalties so it not just a top 10 pop kind of world.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself
A: I love sailing and driving speedboats. I also enjoy nature and walking in the woods.
Q: Are you available for private parties? If so how would someone contact you about booking?
A: Yes I am. Contact Theris Coats 916 271-0423 STLR Entertainment or you can
Q: What is the best way to stay updated on current news; gigs, releases, etc.
A: Visit www.tonysaunders.com
Online store https://myiesstore.com/tonysaunders/
Instagram and Twitter @Saundersbass