Skip to main content

Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony)

Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony)

Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony), jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, flutist, pianist, guitarist; b. Morristown, N.J., June 17, 1921. His father was a barber; both parents enjoyed playing the violin. He studied clarinet and piano at Juilliard from 1940–42, and started jamming at Minton’s in 1941; he caused some antagonism among the other musicians by his habit of jumping up on stage without asking permission. Scott spent three years in army bands (1942–45) and, after leaving the service, worked with Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Ventura, Claude Thornhill, and Earl Bostic, among others. He was befriended by Ben Webster, who influenced his big sound and was an early fan of Charlie Parker’s. In the early 1950s, Scott led a quartet at Minton’s and the Metropole; in 1953 he was voted the Down Beat Critics’ Poll “New Star” on clarinet, and he began to record more as a leader. He took lessons with composer Stefan Wolpe, the fruits of which are heard on his compositions “Portrait of Anne Frank” and “Piece for Stefan Wolpe” (1959). During this period, he worked with Billie Holiday (1954, 1956), Carmen McRae, and Sarah Vaughan (1946, 1950) and spent a month in Ellington’s orch. He became Harry Belafonte’s pianist and musical director (1955), touring the world with him in 1957. He was an early booster of pianist Bill Evans, using him on a number of recordings beginning in 1956. hi late 1959, he went to Japan, and then studied Eastern musics for several years, visiting Bali (where he played with a traditional orch.), Malaysia, Thailand (where he played with the king, a noted jazz patron and saxophonist), and India. In 1964, he recorded Music for Zen Meditation with a koto and shakuhachi player in Tokyo, an albun that became a cult favorite. In July 1965 he returned to N.Y. and began a 15-month residency at the Dom, an East Village club. He left for Europe in 1968. He has been based in Rome since the early 1970s and occasionally performs at European festivals. He has recorded with Indonesian groups, on an album paying homage to Africa, and on several more meditation albums.


Music After Midnight (1953); Tony Scott Quartet (1954); Jazz for Gls: Tony Scott and Mat Mathews (1954); Tony Scott (1955); Scoff’s Fling (1955); That’s How I’m Living (1955); Both Sides of Tony Scott (1956); Touch of Tony Scott (1956); In Concert (1957); The Modern Art of Jazz (1957); Tony Scott in Hi Fi (1957); Dedications (1957); South Pacific Jazz (1958); 52nd Street Scene (1958); Free Blown Jazz (1959); I’ll Remember (1959); Sung Heroes (1959); Hi Fi Land of Jazz (1959); Golden Moments (1959); Gypsy (1959); My Kind of Jazz (1960); Music for Zen Meditation & Other Joys (1964); Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys (1967); Homage to Lord Krishna (1969); Prism (1977); African Bird: Come Back! Mother Africa (1981); Meditation (1984); Astral Meditation (1988); Clarinet Album (1994); Dialog with Myself: Like a Child’s Whisper (1995); In Africa (1997); Homage to Billie Holiday: Body & Soul (1998); Homage to a Lady (1998); Poets of Jazz (1998); At Last (1999).

—Matthew Snyder/Lewis Porter

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 15 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (September 15, 2019).

"Scott, Tony (originally, Sciacca, Anthony)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved September 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.