Tony Saunders the son of the late great keyboardist Merl Saunders was destine to be a musician. Merl Saunders got his son Tony started at an early age, by the time he was five he was singing. At the age of eight was playing the piano and his teachers were Herbie Hancock and Sly Stone, when he was ten Sly gave him an organ. Tony was awarded a prestigious fellowship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for the piano. Tony started playing the bass at the age of fourteen. Tony his brother Merl Jr., and Sister Susan known as The Man Child Singers wrote a jingle for the San Francisco Giants in 1969. When Tony was eighteen he began playing with Merl Saunders & the Rainforest Band as a featured musician. Other musicians who had an influence in Tony’s love of the bass were Chuck Rainey, Jack Cassidy and John Kahn. Tony was turned on to James Jamerson by John Kahn and Tony modeled his playing after all of his teachers. Tony was also influenced by other great bass players like Stanley Clarke, Alphonso Johnson, Rufus Reid, Ralphe Armstrong and Marcus Miller. Tony Saunders also has a love for Gospel music, when he has at the age of fourteen he met the Hawkins they inspired him to play the bass. Tony has played with some of Gospels greats like Andrae Crouch, the Clark Sisters, Reverend James Moore, Daryl Coley, James Cleveland and the Williams Brothers. Tony Saunders also gives back to his community and charities he has performed on behalf of Seva Foundation, the Rex Foundation, Rock for Hope, the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, and the Rainforest Action Network. Tony Saunders Tony Saunders has a new CD that is to be released October 26, 2011, called “Romancing The Bass” this album has an piano solo by Merl Saunders on the song “Song for my Dad” this is a beautiful song. I also like “Heart Song” and “Melody In My Heart”. Tony Saunders CD release party is at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on October 26. 2011 if your in San Francisco stop by you will have a great time. You can listen to Tony Saunders “Romancing The Bass” on Streetwise Radio.