Tony Bruno . . .
Tony began his professional drumming career at the age of 17 as the youngest musician ever to be hired by the Kenny Fitzgerald Big Band. This provided him with the opportunity to perform concerts throughout Florida and accompany many well-known artists of the fifties and sixties, including Fabian and the Tokens.
He made his musical theatre debut at Florida Studio Theatre’s 1988 production of No Way To Treat A Lady. Other early FST credits include Blue Plate Special, Role Play, and Heartbeats, which featured the music of Amanda McBroom, best known for her 1979 hit “The Rose”. “It was great to work with Amanda and a thrill to play her show.” More recent FST productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Beehive: The 60’s Musical, FST’s original A Night Train to Memphis and A Marvelous Party: The Noel Coward Celebration, which once again gave Tony the opportunity to work with one of the show’s creators, Carl Danielsen. Other local and regional credits include White Christmas, Smokey Joe’s Cafedirected by Kevyn Morrow, Shake Rattle and Roll, Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Singin’ in the Rain,Hairspray, Avita, Legally Blond (the MTV musical), and Chicago. He also played Grease and West Side Story at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida.
In the mid-nineties, Tony took on another form of show drumming when he joined conductor/keyboardist Larry Stout on the Royal Hanneford Circus. Tony soon became one of the industry’s leading percussionists working with, and at times being requested by, such circus greats as the Wallenda family, Mark Karoly, Bello Nock and the late Tommy Hanneford. He was the exclusive drummer for Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin for seven seasons and Circus Sarasota for nine seasons with world renowned aerialist Dolly Jacobs. Tony has completed an astounding eight, forty-four week national tours and has recorded several percussion tracks for Busch Gardens and Sea World with the Larry Stout Show Band. “I am grateful for that experience and the talent I was surrounded by. I can play correctly in many musical situations because of that…circus drumming is still very much a part of my work year.”
Tony’s career has not been limited to show drumming. He has toured with premier rock, top forty, blues, country, and folk artists throughout the country. He has shared the recording studio and stage with some of the true greats of the jazz and blues world, including Dick Hyman, Johnny Varro, the late Bobby Haggard, Jesse H. Yawn, Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling, Terry Hanck, Steve Guyger, Junior Watson, and most recently, Dick Hyman (Music in Reel Time) at the Sarasota Opera House.