[Creative Fridays] #21: Rizal Tony

Mid last year, I started hearing more and more about jazz guitarist Rizaltony and his increasingly active presence within the Malaysian jazz scene. Now, he is performing with many different projects in addition to his music education work at UiTM. Let’s let more about him!

Rizal Ezuan Zulkifly Tony, also known as Rizaltony is a full time music educator, jazz guitarist, musician, music director, music arranger and composer from UiTM (Universiti Teknologi MARA) who collaborates with local, international musicians and artists . After spending more than a decade performing, teaching, arranging and composing in jazz and popular music.

Rizal has landed coverage in music performance outlets in Malaysia and around the world. He has also accompanied artists lik Noryn Aziz, Rachel Guerzo, Ruffedge, V.E, Adibah Noor, Aishah, Sharizan, and many more.  In addition to his extensive teaching and performing experience, Rizaltony is a trained music composer and arranger.
Rizaltony holds a Master of Music in jazz guitar performance, graduating with distinction from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

And now let’s see what he’s up to now!

1. What’s your latest project?
Producing, composing and recording for a Gamelan Contemporary Album, launching it somewhere this November,


2. What inspires your music?

Most important would be family and friends, past life experiences, Paris, French Music Mike Price, Collin Hoorweg, Mike Bukovsky, Jamie Taylor, and the music of the late Farid Ali aka Mr. Gambus.

3. What’s your 5 Desert Island Albums? 

Just Between Us
Album by Norman Brown
Artist: Norman Brown
Release date: September 8, 1992
Label: Verve Records
Genres: Jazz, R&B/Soul

New York Days
Artist: Enrico Rava
Release date: January 27, 2009
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Label: ECM Records
Genre: Jazz

Imaginary Day
Album by Pat Metheny Group
Artist: Pat Metheny Group
Release date: October 7, 1997
Producers: Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby

Kurt Rosenwinkel & OJM
Our Secret World
Genre: Jazz
Label Wommusic
Producer: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Pedro Guedes

Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery
Album by Pat Martino
Artist: Pat Martino
Release date: April 3, 2006
Genre: Jazz
Label: Blue Note Records

4. Who’s one artist/musician that you love but most people probably don’t know of?
I would recommend for guitar enthusiast to listen to Fareed Haque (Guitarist) He naturally embodies many apparent opposites. Classical and jazz, East and West and the traditional and the modern sound. He is an associate professor of classical and jazz studies at Northern Illinois University and he’s also one of the most down-to-earth cats on the planet.

5. What’s an advice you wish someone told you when you started in the arts?
I wish someone told me that I don’t need books to secure my playing, and that I really needed to play a very long time to be able to sound like myself.

6. As a jazz guitarist and educator, what has been your biggest challenge in your work? How did you overcome it?
The obstacles which prevents many jazz guitarists from becoming a fluent improviser, is the element of unfamiliarity towards current improvisation approaches and formulas, used in the 21st century realm of jazz guitar improvisation. As a solution, I aim to investigate the practise of synthesizing improvisation ideas from youtube videos of current practitioners, and doing a comparative analysis of performances.

7. How do we reach you?

Facebook: Rizaltony
Instagram: rizaltony
YouTube: rizaltony

Thank you for reading this week’s instalment of #AzCreativeFridays. Please do check out the past interviews (18 so far) and come back next week for the next one with jazz guitarist & educator Rizaltony. Till next time! 🙂

Read the recent [Creative Fridays] interview:
[Creative Fridays] #14 : Taylor Roberts
7-String Solo Guitarist

[Creative Fridays] #15: Dylan Lee
Cellist

[Creative Fridays] #16: Scott Murphy
Saxophonist and Composer

[Creative Fridays] #17: Nisa Addina
Violinist

[Creative Fridays] #18: Jake Shimabukuro
Ukulele Virtuoso

[Creative Fridays] #19: Jared Sims
Jazz Saxophonist

[Creative Fridays] #20: Gabriel Lynch
Singer-Songwriter

[Creative Fridays] #21: Rizal Tony
Jazz Guitarist and Educator

Next Friday:
[Creative Fridays] #22: Raja Farouk
Multi-Instrumentalist and Sessionist
Coming up August 31 2018

[About Creative Fridays]

The original Creative Fridays was an interview series I did back in 2012. Published on my website, www.azsamad.com, it explored the musical influences of various musicians from all over the world. Relaunching this now in 2018, there are some cool add-ons. For a super obvious one, we’ve now added Spotify and YouTube links whenever possible for the Desert Island Albums list.

This to me is amazing because you can actually immediately listen to the recommended albums. Coming from a generation that used to make trips to the record store to check out new music, it still boggles my mind that we can immediately listen to the records that is recommended here. Imagine if you listened to the 5 suggested albums – how much could you learn from it?

Also, in addition to the original questions from the series, I’ve added a new question into the mix asking about the biggest challenge each individual has faced in their work. I’ve found that we all can benefit by learning from one another. Let’s share and grow together!

If you know a musician who you think could be a good fit to be featured in Creative Fridays, please contact me with your ideas. The focus is in diversity for music, cultural background, geography, age and experience. It doesn’t matter where you are around the world, if you’re a creative making interesting music on an interesting journey and have something to share, please reach out to me. Please do note, due to this being a weekly series, the interview may be featured later in the year depending scheduling.

Thank you! 🙂

[The Original Series]
Season 1: Every week for 13 weeks, published from Feb 2012 to April 2012.

[Creative Fridays] #1  : Kevin Broken Scar
(Melbourne Singer-Songwriter/Sound Engineer)

[Creative Fridays] #2  : Deborah Crooks
(SF Bay Area Singer-Songwriter)

[Creative Fridays] #3  : Dylan Kay
(UK/Auckland Jazz Guitarist)

[Creative Fridays] #4  : Azmyl Yunor
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter/College Lecturer)

[Creative Fridays] #5  : Gustavo Assis-Brasil
(Boston Jazz Guitarist/Educator)

[Creative Fridays] #6  : TragiComedy
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter)

[Creative Fridays] #7  : Candelaria
(Oakland Cumbia-Dub Band)

[Creative Fridays] #8  : Pete Teo
(Malaysian Singer-Songwriter/Filmmaker)

[Creative Fridays] #9  : Lori McKinney
(West Virginia Bandleader/Festival Organizer)

[Creative Fridays] #10: Helen Sherrah-Davies
(UK/Boston Violinist-Composer & Berklee faculty)

[Creative Fridays] #11: Adam Everett
(SF Bay Area Drummer-Composer)

[Creative Fridays] #12: Julian Chan
(Malaysian Jazz Saxophonist)

[Creative Fridays] #13: Sharon Chong
(Malaysian Keyboardist and Vocalist]

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