Dave Tofani on Apple Music

Dave Tofani

David Tofani enjoyed a lengthy career as a New York-based session musician that included occasional forays into recording under his own name. Growing up in Williamsport, PA, he was attracted to jazz by listening to records owned by his uncle and took up the clarinet at age nine. He began playing the saxophone at 12 and took piano lessons starting at 13. By the age of 15, he was playing in the John Nicolosi Orchestra. He was accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music at 17 and moved to New York to attend; eventually, he earned a masters degree there. Meanwhile, he started to play sessions, beginning with the orchestra for the Bell Telephone Hour television series. And he joined the Lee Konitz-Hall Overton Jazz Quintet. He also played New York clubs with his own jazz band. Upon his graduation from Juilliard, he was drafted into the army and spent three years playing in the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. He then returned to New York and launched a full-time career as a session musician. Over the next three decades, he played on over 600 albums and 100 soundtracks by his estimate, his clients including jazz stars such as George Benson, Jim Hall, Earl Klugh, Buddy Rich, and David Sanborn. He also appeared on albums by such pop stars as John Lennon (Double Fantasy), Simon and Garfunkel (The Concert in Central Park), Frank Sinatra (L.A. Is My Lady), Steely Dan (Two Against Nature), and Barbra Streisand (The Concert), and played on such soundtracks as Beauty and the Beast, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Wiz.

Tofani began a solo career with the release of the jazz album Manhattan Carnival. He followed it in 2001 with An American Garden.

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