Tony Ybarra: Born in Santa Barbara, California, Tony has had the guitar in his hands all his life. His father introduced to him Latin and jazz music at an early age and soon his musical palette broadened to encompass classical and flamenco. His understanding of these diverse styles has led him craft out his own sound that is melodic, romantic, intimate, rhythmic, and sophisticated.
Whether it is solo guitar to large Latin ensembles, Tony transcends the listener to hear the art in the music. “Every piece has a story to tell and it is my place to be the interpreter.” He has spent many years developing his style by studying with some of the best guitarists in California such as Adam Del Monte, Joe Diorio, Steve Trovato, and James Edwards. He also traveled to Spain and studied Flamenco with Jesus Montoya (cousin of Nino Ricardo and Tomatito).
He is an active, sought out soloist and recording artist in many styles. He has recorded 3 albums under his own name and is finishing his 4th album entitled “Flamenco Latino” which will contain 12 original Flamenco Latino pieces. His music has been featured on documentaries, film, and television such as Turner Classic Movies, Showtime’s original series Dexter, and the 3rd sequal of the film Species.
Tony is a graduate from the Thorton School of Music at the University of Southern California. He hold’s a bachelor's and master’s degree in guitar performance. He has lectured and taught at Santa Barbara City College and the University of Southern California. In the summer of 1999, he played the part of Ritchie Valens in the musical, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and received outstanding reviews. Tony can also be found lecturing on Brazilian music on the UCTV network.
He has performed in the prestigious North Sea and Montreux Jazz festivals where he shared the stage with Pat Metheny and George Benson and in 2005, Tony and his ensemble Sonido Moreno, traveled to Hong Kong to perform at a charity event and tour to support his first album entitled "Sonido Moreno". Tony has performed with Grammy award winning composer Maria Schneider at Santa Barbara City College. In 2001 he performed with flamenco guitar virtuoso Adam Del Monte and his quintet at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in what the L. A. Times hailed as a “great show”. He shared the stage with trumpet legend Doc Severson, and has performed all over California in different venues such as the Four Seasons Biltmore, The Barcara Resort, The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Ritz in Pasadena and Newport Beach, and Disney studios where he entertained such luminaries as Cuba Gooding Jr, Bonnie Hunt, Lionel Ritchie, Michael Eisner, and Martin Sheen. He was asked to perform for the private premier parties of “The Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest” and “The Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End”. He entertained the entire cast and crew including Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Geoffery Rush. Tony continues to be one of the most sought out guitarist in Southern California.