Elias Tona , step by step ...
Elias Tona was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela on March 17, 1976. He is the second child of Christian Pastors Santiago Tona and Elaine Túa. His father, being influenced by gospel and classical music and who played the organ in his church, was responsible for planting the love for music in Elias’s heart, giving Elias contact with these musical influences at an early age in his childhood.
His mother Elaine always wanted her children to study music. She took Elias and his sister Elein to music school when he was 6 years old, and he began his musical studies at the Conservatory of Music Vicente Emilio Sojo in Barquisimeto, where he would learn the fundamentals of music. There he chose the guitar as an instrument, and under the guidance of teacher Valmore Nieves, he began his journey as a classical guitarist with the personal goal of getting to play Antonio Lauro’s waltz No. 3, “Natalia”. In his own words Elias would say as a child: "My dream is to play Lauro’s waltz “Natalia”, and actually that is the main reason why I picked the guitar."
Finding his passion
In Venezuela, his homeland, from age 13 he began playing the electric bass in his church, which quickly became his main instrument. Later, under the direction of teachers Fernando Freites and Silvio Arocha, Elias had the opportunity to start speaking the language of jazz.
He was 21 when he moved to Caracas in order to study Composition at Professor Maria Eugenia Atilano’s “Ars Nova School of Music”.
Throughout the years, Elías started to gain experience as a musician (bassist, arranger and producer) and had the opportunity to play for locally and internationally well-known artists among which were Yordano (Pop Artist in Venezuela and Latin Grammy Nominated), Guillermo Carrasco, José Luis Rodríguez “El Puma”, Jeremías, Henry Martínez, Roque Valero, Mulato, Aline Barros, Julissa, Rene González, Renan Carías, Doris Machin y Jaime Murrel.
In the United States!
More recently, during his years in the United States, Elias Tona has continued to reap success, and his unique versatility has allowed him to work different genres such as jazz, pop, salsa, latin-jazz, rock and gospel. He has participated as a bassist in various musical productions and concerts, for different artists and bands, some of which include:
• Al Di Meola (Bass player for the following tours: Elegant Gypsy & More -Electric Tour 2015 , Elegant Gypsy meets Romantic Warrior 2016, Al Di Meola's Elegant Gypsy Tour 40th anniversary Tour 2017)
• Lazy Americanz (produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
• Sandi Patty
• BJ Putnam
• La India (Grammy’s Salsa Artist and Latin Grammy’s nominee),
• Jerry Rivera (Grammy’s Salsa Artist and Latin Grammy’s nominee),
• Charlie Cruz,
• Vashawn Mitchell (Grammy’s Gospel Artist nominee),
• Kim Burrell (Dove and Stellar Awards Gospel Artist and Grammy’s nominee),
• Ingrid Rosario (Latin Grammy’s Christian Artist nominee),
• BK Jackson
• Leonard Jones (founder of Morning Star Ministries).
At the present time, Elias teaches music at the Clearwater Florida international school of music “Players School of Music” founded by Jeff Berlin, who is a highly respected jazz bassist who has been educating students, not only in America, but worldwide, for over fifteen years. Besides his academic knowledge, Elías Tona offers his students the experience he has gained over the years in the interpretation of his main instrument, the electric bass.
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