Since leaving the Yale School of Music in 1987 as a Classically trained Tuba Major, Antonio Underwood has been a member of the two-time Grammy Award winning McCoy Tyner All-Star Big Band, featuring such artists as: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Savion Glover, Diane Reeves, and Slide Hampton.
Playing all the major jazz venues throughout the world.
Tony began his career playing in NYC clubs (Lush Life, Sweet Basil’s, Village Gate, The Vanguard, the Greenwich House, The Public Theatre, Alternate Museum, etc) and festivals (JVC, South Seaport, etc.) at the age of nineteen back in 1979.
In addition to being a featured performer with Jazz Legend, the late Max Roach, Tony has shared the stage with some of the greats like percussionist Jerry Gonzalez, Julius Preister,Bob Belden, Christian McBride, Cecil Taylor, Cecil Bridgewater, Vincent Herring, Joshua Redman, Javon Jackson, Delfeayo Marsalis, Robin Eubanks, the late Lester Bowie, John Faddis, Lew Solof, Charlie Haden, Eddie Henderson, Billy Harper, Olu Dara, John Zorn, Steve Turre, Virgil Jones, the late John Stubblefield, Joe Lavano, John Purcell, Gil Goldstein, Dave Bargeron, Howard Johnson, the late Ray Draper, Muhal Abrahams, the late Leroy Jenkins, the late Julius Hemphill, Henry Threadgill, Andrew Cyril, the late Fred Hopkins, the late David Townsend, and many more.
Tony has been a cast member of the Obie Award winning musical, Juan Darien by Academy Award Composer Elliot Goldenthal and Tony Award Winning Director Julie Taymor, as well as a regular in the Tony Award Winning play, Jelly’s Last Jam, featuring the late Gregory Hines, “One Mo’ Time” and “Further Mo’“ are other shows performed.
Tony is the first African-American to become a George Lucas scholar to the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at USC. He studied extensively with the late Dr. Norman “Buddy” Baker (former music director of Disney studios), Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Joe Harnell, etc.
Tony’s popular composition and orchestration credits include recordings by Be Be Winans (Atlantic Records), Terry Dexter (Warner Bros.), John Purcell (Pony Canyon, Japan), The World Saxophone Quartet (Justin Time Records, Canada), Debut CD of Anthony Montgomery, (Universal/Germany), etc. Owner of his own published material (400 and counting) at Tone East Music Ltd., brass quartets published by TAP Music (Iowa), and Jazz compositions published by ENJA Music, Germany.
Film scoring credits included: Rumbling of the Earth (Filmmakers Library) and Shadows of the Dead (Horizon Entertainment/First Look Entertainment).