Teacher Profile: Tony Lefaive

Tony Lefaive

Tony Lefaive

Instrument(s): Bass, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Ukulele

City: Seattle

Education: University of Washington

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    About Tony Lefaive

    Born and raised in the Seattle area, guitarist as well as upright and electric bassist Tony grew to love and cherish music as a creative outlet and genuine form of self-expression. Starting at the age of 10 he began to teach himself guitar, enthralled by the music of Metallica, Weezer, and others. He also introduced himself to the piano as a way to express himself and play additional songs he liked. As the years passed he grew to appreciate a vast array of diverse genres, joining his middle school jazz band at Eckstein under the direction of Moc Escobedo. He trained his ear after learning intervals with the vocal jazz ensemble and developed a passion for theory and composition, hoping to share this excitement with his colleagues.

    In high school, Tony joined the award-winning Roosevelt Jazz Band under the direction of Scott Brown. Shortly afterwards, he noticed the upright bassist space in the band needed to be filled. Without an instrument to practice on, he decided to come to school early every day and teach himself using the school’s string bass.

    The role of a bassist became a passion for him. Nothing gave him more joy than providing low end support to the music, clearly outlining harmony and rhythm in a way that made the other musicians sound their best. In 2016 as a graduating senior, Tony was granted the annual Waldo King Inspirational Award, joining a legacy left by musicians such as Alex Dugdale, D’vonne Lewis, Stuart Macdonald, Andrew D’Angelo and others.

    Tony went on to study jazz and improvisation at the University of Washington after he was awarded a full ride scholarship. As part of his studies at the university he picked up piano again, developing proficiency on the instrument as a way of deepening his understanding of harmony and theory. His mentors at the university include world class performers and educators Cuong Vu, Ted Poor, Luke Bergman, Marc Seals, and Steve Rodby. Each year he also had the chance to perform alongside visiting artists as a part of the school’s annual IMP Fest: Bill Frisell, Ben Monder, Andrew Cyrille, Andrew D’Angelo, and Lucia Pulido are some names that come to mind.

    After his undergrad he went on to complete his Masters at the UW. This opportunity included the chance to serve as a Teaching Assistant for the college’s history of jazz course, along with closer instruction by his mentors at the school with a focus on composition and the refinement of his own vision and goals as an artist.

    Outside of his education Tony continues to gig regularly as a working professional, one group in particular known as the Blue in Green Jazz Trio played high profile corporate and private functions in the greater seattle area for a number of years.

    Another group, the Trevor Eulau Quartet, recently played at the MoPops Soundoff! and given the chance afterwards to perform at Timberfest 2022. This group recorded a full length album over the same summer at Sage Arts in Arlington and anxiously awaits its release.

    In his free time Tony also teaches a number of private guitar, piano, electric bass, and upright bass students of all ages and levels. Other instruments Tony teaches include ukulele and piano. He hopes to pass on his excitement and experience as a mentor, patiently guiding each student to realize their full potential. His main goals for his students are to develop focus, discipline, and most importantly an undying love for learning and playing music.

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