Tony Minvielle may not be a name known to everyone but he is seen as a giant of the soul and jazz world.
A man who calls himself a ‘musical journeyman’ who, in his time as a broadcaster, writer and DJ, has interviewed some of the best in the world, including: Curtis Mayfield, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Sly Stone, Gregory Porter and Gil Scott Heron.
Born in St Thomas’ Hospital and raised in Sears Street, Camberwell, Tony tells me “wherever I may be in the world I always consider myself a Londoner”.
It never changed, whether when he was based in Atlanta spreading the musical word, in Poland doing the same, or back living in England. Once a Londoner, always a Londoner.
“I was a child of the London jazz dance club scene,” he begins, “and my first Saturday job was at Page 43 records at the Oval as a very young teenager.
“Beneath the record shop was rehearsal space 2, where all the great and the good of the London jazz funk scene used to rehearse. Direct Drive, The Breakfast Band, Paul Hardcastle.”
These became Tony’s early influences into that world and who spurred him on to his chosen career, a career that gave him a highlight of “spending time with and talking to Curtis Mayfield whilst living in Atlanta.”
He emerged from the 70s/80s London soul/ jazz scene to establish a home for the scene in the Midlands, including the now legendary Mosquito Coast sessions. His residencies have included London’s Jazz Cafe, Phoenix festivals, and Ibiza’s seminal Cafe Del Mar.
Currently back living in the England, Tony hosts the seminal radio show FoldedSpace on SoulandJazz.com alongside JazzFm’s Chris Phillips and Mike Chadwick. He now has fans who hail from as far afield as Japan, Brazil, Asia, America and Africa.
After thirty years in the game, Tony Minvielle still has a passion for music and his inspiration these days comes from the young musicians of today keeping the movement marching on. He says there is still an exciting jazz scene “with many thriving young bands such as Zara McFarlane, Nerija, Binker and Moses, Dinosaur and Yussef Kamaal currently exciting us with their music.”
With his years of knowledge and experience Tony created his first Tony Minvielle Presents Into Somethin’ album in 2015 (No 6 in the iTunes Jazz Chart) with Volume 2 out now.
He says, “the choice of tracks boils down to one thing – it’s the music that I like.”
And being such a travelled person Tony has included music that he likes from all over the world: “I always wanted the albums to be truly international affairs and luckily they have turned out that way.”
Having a background in soul, funk and jazz he promises “there is stuff for everybody in there.”
Continuing the mission he started with Volume 1, Tony Minvielle says that all he wants to do is “share beautiful music with all who will listen”.