Courtesy photo Tony Suazo is featured in the ÔPeace by Piece' album cover.
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published: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Suazo's album features 18 local musicians
Special to the News-Sun
Tony Suazo is making the new year a little brighter for Special STARS by offering a CD promotion from his new release.
Anyone who makes a $10 donation or more to Special STARS (a sports and recreational program in Highlands County for children and adults with disabilities) gets the "Peace by Piece" CD recently released by Suazo of Lake Placid. "Peace by Piece" is a recording project by Suazo and Masaya.
Masaya is the name of what Suazo defines as his "studio band." They are the backing musicians that perform the basic tracks, and consequently are not available as a live band for performance purposes. The musicians featured combined with the backing musicians are essentially the "Masaya" sound at that moment in time. The next project will also be with Masaya, but it will be with musicians that happen to be contributing on that project at that time. The album "Gales of the Equinox" (Suazo's first project), featured a completely different lineup in the Masaya band.
According to Suazo, "Peace by Piece" was an album long overdue. The project began around the year 2000, and was literally being pieced together as different musicians and influences occurred. Scheduling, time and limited opportunities kept the project from being finished until recently. The recording format was reel to reel tape (analogue), and time is not kind to analogue tape. In 2012, there was an urgency to finish the project before the tapes got "sticky."
"As a result, and in keeping with having different musicians perform on the project, I took some time off and pursued a vigorous recording schedule, which lasted a little over two years still," Suazo said. "The musicians recorded ranged from the year 2000, with the majority of them recorded in 2010, 2011, and completion in 2012."
The first track, "Flight 001", was recorded in Japan and Hawaii with Suazo's fellow Navy musicians (horn section). After arriving here in Lake Placid in 2004, Suazo began listening to the local talent with hopes of eventually playing in one of the local bands. Since that time, the majority of the musicians who performed on the album are some of the finest local talents that Suazo has had the pleasure to play with.
The "Peace by Piece" album is all original rock, progressive rock and Latin style music featuring 18 of the finest talents from the local area. All of them are currently playing live in the area.
The artists featured on the album are Otis O'Brien, drummer for the Redneck Joe Band; Jimmie Duke, piano/trumpet/saxophone with Uptown Country; Patsy Howard, soloist and also vocalist with Johnny and Patsy duo; Peggy Essex-Klammer, violin/guitar with Steve and Peggy duo; Vic Anderson, trumpet with the Skylarks and also the music director for Highlands County Concert Band; Chuck White, alto/tenor/bari saxophones for GrooVus, Rick K. and the Allnighters, and The Dennis Lee Show; Freddie Martinez, congas/latin percussionist at large; Dick Maley, drummer/vocalist with the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra and Dick Maley's Jazz Band; Justin Curry, drummer at large (formerly with Interlake and Main Band); Lew Dunham, drummer for GrooVus and Free 4M bands; Marti Capodiferro, vocalist of Marti Capodiferro Entertainment; Becky Bice, vocalist at large; Belinda Decker, vocalist at large; Julia Kouragian Newell, vocalist with Rebound Band and Jewels in the Night Entertainment; Jose Rios, drummer (formerly with the Latin Heat band); Don Talbert, drummer at large(formerly with GrooVus); Dustin McCranie, vocalist (formerly with Interlake and Main Band); and introducing 13-year-old Kimberly Davis on the oboe.
"I am extremely grateful and thankful for those who gave their time and performances in contributing to this project," Suazo said.
The songs themselves have been there practically forever, with the exception of a couple that were being "written" in the process, and not all of the songs made it on this album. The performances were as about as close to live but without an audience.
"It is a simple, 'home grown' recording of songs captured by performances of the musicians through my emotions from my heart. I find the experiences and influences of other musicians add certain flavors and surprise elements to the music that keep the songs very exciting," Suazo said. "Although my music is not 'commercial,' it is an expression of many entities from deep within. They are true, real experiences that manifest themselves through my music."
Suazo was born in Yokosuka, Japan and raised in Albuquerque, N.M. He started playing guitar at the age of 16. Playing in numerous bands in a variety of musical styles, he quickly became proficient in lead and rhythm guitar. He attended the University of New Mexico, and soon after found himself on tour in Korea with the band Five Easy Pieces and the Chico Show.
Upon returning, he pursued his musical career in the United States Navy Music Program. He graduated from the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, Va., and has had many demanding assignments in a variety of bands throughout his naval career. In 1986 he was the Leading Petty Officer for Navy Band Guam, and proceeded to the U.S. 7th Fleet Band in 1988, where he led the contemporary music ensemble Orient Express. He served in the Gulf War where the band was deployed playing throughout the region in support of the troops. In 2001, he was assigned to Pacific Fleet Band, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was the Ceremonial Band conductor, Jazz Ensemble leader, and leading senior chief.
Suazo's musical experience covers a wide range of musical styles. He has performed for numerous audiences here in the States, the Far East, and Southwest Asia, including high level foreign dignitaries and military officials. He completed a 23-year Navy music career in 2004 and has since relocated to Lake Placid.
Anyone wanting a copy of Suazo's new CD release can make checks payable to Special STARS. Donations are considered tax deductible. Send checks to Special STARS, 120 W. College Drive, Avon Park, FL 33825. The CD can be mailed or picked up at the Special STARS office at the previously mentioned address. For more details, call Cindy Marshall at 452-1295, ext. 124 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Suazo at email@example.com.
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