Tony Koenen, thousands of songs, miles and moments
Tony Koenen is a multi-instumentalist, singer and song writer.
His original songs tell the stories of the places he has been, from magical moments on Gabriola island to the cajun rythyms of New Orleans or the swamps of way down south. His rearrangements of songs from the music greats have that familiar feel but with a suprise twist. Tony crosses many genres with his musical palette from blues, rock, jazz, country, reggae, crooner to classical. “ I love most types of music but it needs to be done well. That’s the prerequisite”
Born in Edmonton , to a musical family. Tony’s passion for music began at the age of four when his mom gave him an harmonica, he played alongside her as she played piano and that passion has been burning ever since. His father was saxophinist.
Tony’s first recording sessions were in the University of Alberta Studio’s. At the time he was playing bass guitar and pedal steel. He began touring and recording but starting a family, Tony made the decision to change direction to pursue business horizon’s to support his young family and opening first a music school and subsequent sucessful business' . He knew he needed to choose an entrepreneurial career that would allow him the freedom to always follow his musical passion and continue performing.
Moving to the Kelowna, the Napa Valley of Canada, He formed the “The Hot Tomales”, that played in Western Canada with original tunes and covers, they were in high demand.
Others have recorded his songs including a top 20 European hit by country singer Lynne Taylor Donovan.
In recent years he has played in Memphis, Nashville, Florida, and has been spending time in the music capitals of the US like New Orleans, Austin Texas and Vegas to gain a different perspective on his song writing influences. His recordings reflect these influences. When in Canada he plays select venues , performing his originals songs and rearrangements of classic favourites. He has become a sought after solo entertainer and as a raconteur connects truly with audiences of all ages.
Always open to new challenges, in 2013 with Angela Bonten, together they conceived of "Musartiqa" -- a 40 minute performance art piece that integrates art, music and dance. The show is comprised of five original compositions from jazz and ballet to contemporary encompassing high energy rhythms to soulful melodies. The music incorporates a variety of instruments. The event is performed live and is spontaneous improvisation.
He has been nominated, and was a finalist in the Central Okanagan, B.C. arts awards for achievement in the Music industry.