North Hollywood 1952

When I was 16, I thought the answer to the mystery of life was Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. I would come home from school, listen to FM jazz, and try to play 12 bar blues changes. I was lucky enough to grow up in Los Angeles, to have the exposure to many styles, and be in the virtual center of the recording industry. I joined the Musician's Union when I was 18, and began playing on jingles, TV, film and publishing demos.

Even before graduation in 1969, there were tours of the U.S. and Asia, backing recording acts. At UCLA I studied with Roy Harris, and received a BA in music composition.

I've worked with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Phil Chen, Blondie Chaplin, Sal Marquez, the Staple Singers, Steve Khan, Eartha Kitt, Barry Zweig, Herb Jeffries, Lanny Morgan, Oscar Brown Jr., Lola Falana, Morey Amsterdam, Jay Graydon, Jaye P. Morgan, Grant Geissman, Rusty Draper, Arthur Lyman, H. B. Barnum, Bobby Womack, Keisha Brown, the Platters, Ike & Tina Turner, and others in 30+ years as a professional musician. In 1975 Michael Jackson recorded a song I wrote with Jimmy Whitney, entitled "Goodness Knows".

If I was asked about the influences on my musical style, I would list everyone from James Brown to Igor Stravinsky. I like variety and the unexpected.

Just one of the Cats
Group Shot
Jon & Tony 1999

Jon, Tony Pretzello and Michael Rosen

This is not actually how a flugelhorn produces sound.

I've been obsessed with Giant Steps