May 2009 marked the release of jazz pianist and composer Tony Foster's debut trio recording entitled "In Between Moods". The recording features Joe Poole on drums and Russell Botten on bass. The album showcases Foster's composing and arranging skills as well as tracks paying tribute to some of Foster's key influences including Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal. The album charted in the top 50 for jazz radio in the US and Canada and received many great reviews In April and May 2009 Foster completed a series of performances in Torino Italy and Nice France, followed by a return to Vancouver for featured shows with his trio at the June 2009 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Prior to his debut CD release, Foster has been featured with his own trio on CBC’s (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) nationally broadcast JAZZBEAT as well as the CBC program Hot Air produced by Neil Ritchie. Foster performs and tours frequently with his trio, as a solo pianist, as a sideman for many instrumentalists and vocalists, and sometimes at the Hammond B-3 organ.
Tony Foster was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He received his initial musical training early on, in the form of classical piano lessons privately. In school bands, his main instrument became the trumpet. His studies on the trumpet continued until college, and it was not until this time that his focus changed to piano. Foster began playing with various university ensembles on the piano (highlighted by performances with guests such as jazz saxophone legend Phil Woods), and graduated in 1996 from UBC (University of British Columbia) with a Commerce Degree. Eventually choosing to pursue a musical career, he was a 1998 recipient of the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship. Foster then participated in a residency at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 2000 where he studied jazz piano and performed with notable jazz artists including saxophonist David Liebman, multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson, pianist Kenny Werner, and bassist Ray Drummond.
Travel has played a large role in Foster’s musical career. He lived most of 2002 in Nice, France where he co-founded a live electronic music project called IDENTIFY which performed at the 2002 Midem International Music Market in Cannes, France, as well as touring the Cote d’Azur and dates in London, England. 2005 also saw him travel to and perform in Tokyo, and Osaka Japan.
Foster's playing and arranging can be heard on vocalist Dee Daniels' well-received 2007 Origin Records release entitled "Jazzinit". In February 2008, Foster was featured with internationally reknowned vocalist Dee Daniels at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow Idaho, with Jeff Hamilton on drums and Peter Washington on bass. Other recent performances with Dee Daniels include Bogota Colombia, and Bern Switzerland at Marian's Jazzroom. Foster has also performed as a special guest accompanist for Daniels along with the Vancouver Symphony at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.
Over the past 10 years, in addition to performing with his own groups, Foster has been featured as a sideman numerous times at Vancouver’s annual International Jazz Festival in different settings which included live recordings for CBC Radio (CBC Jazz Café). Foster led a septet behind Canadian crooner Kenny Colman at the 2007 edition of the festival on the main stage, before a crowd of thousands.
Foster has been fortunate and honored to perform with notable jazz legends as Ernestine Anderson, Red Holloway, Sheila Jordan, Kenny Colman, Dee Daniels, Jeff Hamilton, and Peter Washington.