Toronto native Tony Marriott started his career as an independent singer/songwriter early in his youth, inspired by Brit-Rock albums of the past and classic jazz. Garage rock lineups often included the youthful guitarist, but his talents grew faster than most and he found himself working in Vancouver at the age of 16. Indulging what he described as his "jazz phase," he found himself at the Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, where he roomed with the fantastic Jeff Buckley. Inspired by Buckley both professionally and personally, the experience changed the way he viewed working on music. Two more years at the Berklee College of Music in Boston gave him the training he desired, and he soon became a working musician in the Southern California area. Playing with several high profile jazz musicians in the San Francisco area, he also played gigs with several alternative bands and improv groups during his stay there. He began writing more frequently, and after moving back to Vancouver in 1997, he wrote and eventually recorded his 1999 debut, Looking For Dorian. A melodic songwriter that puts equal emphasis on both guitar and singing, the album brought him a lot of attention from the indie press and helped him secure gigs for the next few years. By 2002, he recorded another album and released The Bad Machine that summer.
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