Tony King
Tony King
1916 - 1990

Music Marvel
Jazzman Tony King is teacher, preacher, philosopher, too

January 25, 1981

By Bill Milkowski

He is the Yoda of jazz in Milwaukee. Tucked away in the cramped quarters of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he is director of jazz studies, this sage from Springfield, Ill., trains appointees in the wondrous ways of the force -- the force of music.

Between talk of triads and tonics, harmonic scales and half diminished chords, he enriches their lives with the insights and wisdom of a man who has lived through several eras -- from the old days of Dixieland all the way up to what he calls "the present era of crass commercialism."

To call him a music teacher only scratches the surface of this marvel known as Tony King. He is a philosopher, a preacher, a historian with 64 years of fascinating tales.

He is a concerned counselor, a humanist who devoted his life to serving his fellow man and preserving a truly American art form -- jazz. He is a keeper of the flame, his students the disciples.

Surely, he is one of Milwaukee's most treasured and least recognized resources. For 20 years he has been a storehouse of information and an inspiration to scores of students at the Conservatory, which is housed in classic architecture on Prospect Ave., overlooking Lake Michigan.


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