Putting On Good Vibrations
Vibraphonist Tony Miceli tells of his musical journey as if it were a love story, one filled with joy and tribulation, optimism, and sincerity.
His tale begins in 1960s New Jersey, where his family would tune in to hear Frank Sinatra over every Sunday breakfast, starting what would become a long romance with jazz, but also radio. During his teenage years he would turn again to the radio for a kind of early-musical mentorship, following the tastes of trusted deejays for guidance.
Miceli lived through the golden age of rock 'n' roll, and so fully immersed himself in “his music” that he couldn’t shake it off when it became a jazz musician. His solution? Mix the two together and create something new and interesting.
By the time Miceli graduated from college with a degree in percussion, and began working the clubs in the early 1980s, the jazz scene in Philadelphia had seen its heyday, but it could still provide a steady flow of gigs for the city’s musicians, including Miceli.
He continued to gig regularly throughout the '90s, but then, September 11, 2001 changed everything. People stopped going out, jazz venues closed, and career models for jobbing musicians shifted.
Instead of quitting, though, Miceli innovated, starting a website that would become a global network of vibraphonists with thousands of members. He also expanded his sphere of influences to include traditional Irish music, and began collaborating with musicians from a disparate range of genres.
Today, this acclaimed vibraphonist is still doing what he love - performing at home and overseas, sometimes with members of his website, and creating strong personal and professional bonds wherever he goes. Somewhat surprising for someone who initially loved making music because of the alone time it afforded him. He says that his interactions with other musicians and the relationships he’s formed, have over the years, made him a far more social animal.
All along, what has guided Toni Miceli through the challenges of change, has been his love of music - a sincere, unshakable certainty that it is the brightest part of life.