In 1994, Tone-East Music became a production company in Englewood, New Jersey. It was created when Mr. Antonio D. Underwood was asked to compose, write, and produce five pieces for the debut CD, Trent Song, of noted Jazz saxello performer John Purcell. Purcell, then working very closely with Saxophone great, David Sanborn and composer/instrumentalist Marcus Miller, was asked to develop his own CD project for Pony Canyon Records in Japan. He immediately called his former student and close friend Antonio.

Tony at 17 years old
Tony composed, produced, and performed on keyboards and vocals for the project. He featured such notables as vocalist Lisa Fischer (Rolling Stones), Katreese Barnes (former Arsenio Hall music director), premiere bassist Anthony Jackson, and premiere drummer Steven Jordan (producer/drummer for popular guitarist John Mayer).

After which, Tony, continued touring with The McCoy Tyner two time Grammy Award Winning All-Star Big Band (20 year member), with the theatre production of “Juan Darien” by Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor and Academy Award winning composer Elliot Goldenthal, and as a featured soloist with the legendary Max Roach and the So What Brass Quintet. All very good friends of Mr. Underwood, encouraged his pursuit of composition.

George Lucas got wind of Antonio’s composing skills and sent him to study Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles - the FIRST and ONLY one to receive a George Lucas Scholarship. There, he had the privilege of studying with the most outstanding composers in the field of screenwriting.

Since, Mr. Underwood has orchestrated for 2006 Grammy Song of the Year Writer, Emmanuel Seal, The World Saxophone Quartet, BeBe Winans, Regis Branson, Terry Dexter and others. His work can be heard on world wide distributed labels such as: Pony Canyon (Japan), Verve, Atlantic, Warner Bros. A&M, The Filmmakers Library, Horizon Entertainment (First Look), and others.

Since leaving the Yale School of Music in 1987 as a Tuba Major. Tony is a 24 year member of the Two-Time Grammy Awarding Winning McCoy Tyner All-Star Big Band. Featuring such reknowned artist as: Dianne Reeves, Savion Glover, and Legendary Jazz Trombones and Arranger Slide Hampton. Tony began his career performing Jazz tuba in New York City Jazz Clubs, back in 1979 (Lush Life, Sweet Basil’s,Lofts, Manhattan Beach, Art Galleries, St. Johns The Devine, Merkin Hall,Soloist at the New York Brass Conference-Roosevelt Hotel, Village Gate,etc.)(Jazz Festivals JVC,South Street Seaport, and others) at the age of nineteen.

In addition to featured performances with Historic Jazz Legend and McArthur Genius Award Recipient,The Late Max Roach, Tony is featured on stage with Jazz performers Christian McBride,Latin Jazz Legend Jerry Gonzalez,Famed arranger Bob Belden, Jazz Trombonist Julius Preister, Jazz Saxophonist Joshua Redman, Legendary Jazz Guitarist Paul Motian, Jean Paul Bourelly, Innovative Jazz Pianist Cecil Taylor, Legendary Jazz Trumpeter, The late Lester Bowie, Band Leader and Jazz Bassist Charlie Haden, Jazz Trombone Legend Steve Turre, Trumpet Legend Virgil Jones, Jazz Saxophonist,The Late John Stubblefield, Joe Lavano, Howard Johnson, Jazz Tuba Pioneer, The Late Ray Draper, Jazz Pianist and Legendary Composer Muhal Abrahams, Premiere Jazz Violinist/Violist, The Late Leroy Jenkins, Founder of the World Saxophone Quartet,Saxophonist,The Late Julius Hemphill, Henry Threadgill, Gughenheim Fellow, Saxophonist David Murray, Jazz Cellist, Akua Dixon, Legendary Drummers Andrew Cyrill, Billy Higgins, JT Lewis, Buddy Williams,The Late Jazz Bassist Fred Hopkins,  and The Late Vocalist Ed and Guitarist David Townsend.

Tony has been a cast member of "Juan Darien" by Composer Elliot Goldenthal, a regular in the Tony award winning play, Jelly’s Last Jam. Other performances include on stage performances of “One Mo’ Time” and “Further Mo’“.

Antonio's credits include recordings by Be Be Winans, Terry Dexter, John Purcell, The World Saxophone Quartet and others.

Antonio publishes works for Tone East Music and owns NUSURE MUSIC (ASCAP)


Selected as an evaluator/ panelist for the New Jersey Council on the Arts for organizational grants

Received the only tuition scholarship from George Lucas to the Advanced Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program at the University of Southern California as a visiting scholar


Member of the Tony Award Winning Broadway production of “Jelly’s Last Jam”

Grammy Award Winner with the McCoy Tyner Big Band for Verve CD, “Journey”

Received the High School Teacher’s Certificate- State of New Jersey

Received the Francis Louis Kirchoff Tap Scholarship Award for two years at Yale University, New Haven, CT

Received the National Endowment for the Arts Scholarship Award for student performers, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Received the Alumnae Award for outstanding contribution to the Yale environment, Yale School of Music

Received two year New York Philharmonic fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival

Received the Yale Cultural Center Award of Merit for contributions to the undergraduate Community

Member of ASCAP/BMI and National Music Publishers Association

"Meditation To the Open Sky" composed/arranged by Tone East Music