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. His early band "The Stacatta’s” became the main event at the downtown Edmonton Corona Hotel, which was the local hot spot at the time. “If you didn’t get in to the club by 8pm, you were in line….every night of the week. It was a crazy good gig.” Tony began recording original works at the “Damon” studios in Edmonton when he toured Alberta and BC as a single performer after the Staccata’s under the stage name of “Kane”.
Starting a family, Tony made the decision to change direction to pursue business horizon’s to support his young family. He stopped touring and first opened a music school in British Columbia. He knew he needed to choose an entrepreneurial career that would allow him the freedom to always follow his musical passion.
Moving to the Kelowna, the Napa Valley of Canada, He formed the “The Hot Tomales”, that performed 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. 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 erformance 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.
In 2014 he was nominated, and was a finalist in the Central Okanagan, B.C. arts awards for achievement in the Music industry.