Category: News

October 1, 2015 | Tony sings national anthem at Pittsburgh Steelers home game

Tony is singing the national anthem at the Steelers vs. Ravens home game being backed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Video to follow….

September 10, 2015 | Tony Plays for Music Education in Philadelphia


88 keys to bringing music back to Philly schools

By Brianna Spause on Sep 11, 2015 02:28 PM


Photo: Brianna Spause

Tony DeSare, jazz pianist, singer, and guest artist with the Philly Pops, performs at the kickoff for Keys for Philly Kids, a campaign to innovate music education in city schools.

Jazz pianist and singer Tony DeSare serenaded a small crowd in front of the Sounds of Philadelphia Mural in South Philly on Wednesday to launch a new School District campaign to innovate music education in city schools.

The free performance at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Garden at Ninth and Wharton Streets kicked off Keys for Philly Kids, the fundraising arm of a new District initiative that seeks to bring music programs into schools that lack them and take a more modern approach to music classes, beyond band, orchestra, and chorus.

“The Keys for Philly Kids campaign will help us move our music programs into the 21st century with a major focus on engaging the 80 percent of kids that don’t traditionally enroll in an instrumental music program,” said Frank Machos, the District’s director of music education.

South Philadelphia High School will serve as the location of the pilot program, which Machos said would “serve as a scalable, replicable model throughout high schools across the District.”

“As a large, comprehensive, neighborhood high school, [the school] provides all of the challenges facing successful implementation of urban music education programs,” he said.

For a school that has produced well-known musicians like Marian Anderson and Chubby Checker and can tout 13 alumni as sitting members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the absence of a music program has been especially painful.

“We were hurt more by this because of all of the icons we had produced,” said Marc Adelman, archive chair of the South Philadelphia High School Alumni Association. “It’s only just, right, fair, and appropriate that the launch of a reinstituted music curriculum begin with the ‘School of the Stars.’”

Students there arrived on the first day of school to a reinstated music program with instruments on loan from Yamaha and Jacobs music. Machos said an introductory music course was added to the 9th-grade curriculum. Electives based on growing careers in the music industry, such as therapy, education, and production, could follow.

The campaign would rely on “microphilanthropy, benefit concerts and other mechanisms” to help raise the more than $3.5 million needed to innovate music education at schools, said Machos.

The money will go toward buying traditional, as well as modern instruments, and sustaining future programming. A partnership has also been formed with the Philly Pops orchestra to supplement District music programs.

In a move that is part promotion and part public art, Keys for Philly Kids will be working with local communities to create street exhibits by taking outdated pianos from schools that receive upgrades and placing them in city streets for the public to interact with them. The street pianos, which will be technologically enhanced, will illustrate the power of bringing music back into Philadelphia neighborhoods and raise awareness of the District’s goal to keep it there.

Starting small at South Philadelphia High School, the music education innovation strategy seeks to find a permanent solution to the need for growth and innovation in music education in the face of the continued budget deficit.

“It’s going to awaken the community to a sense of pride,” Adelman said. “It’s going to help the community realize the potential of their children.”

July 24, 2015 | Tony DeSare at Vail Jazz

July 4, 2015 | Tony Performs in Spain at prestigious San Javier Jazz Festival

June 22, 2015 | Tony’s new CD released in South Africa

Tony’s CD, Chemistry, has been released in South Africa.  Here is one of the first reviews…—Chemistry

June 8, 2015 | Tony at the Kennedy Center

Tony performed to two sold out shows at the Kennedy Center last weekend paying tribute to Frank Sinatra’s Centennial year.

Picture below is with Vegas Headliner of the Year, Frankie Moreno.Tony DeSare Frankie Moreno Kennedy Center

April 10, 2015 | Tony at Carnegie Hall

Tony performed with the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall for “Let’s Be Frank”, a centennial tribute to the great, Frank Sinatra.

March 13, 2015 | Tony performs with the Philly Pops

November 10, 2014 | Tony Featured in Making Music Magazine

Check out Tony’s feature in Making Music Magazine!

December 10, 2014 | Tony Featured in International Musician

Check out Tony’s feature in this month’s International Musician Magazine