Some things in life, we choose to do. Then, there are certain things we have to do. For Antonio Allen, music falls into the later category. His love of music has been there from the start. Growing up in a house full of musicians, there was always some sort of musical activity taking place in his life and his household. At an early age, Antonio began attending rehearsals with his oldest brother who had his own band in the late 70's. But what influenced Antonio most was his involvement in church. Antonio's mother, now deceased, left her family with the most valuable gift of all. She was a minister, and through her ministry, she led thousands to Christ. Included in that number, her seven children. Antonio, along with his siblings, were in church constantly. While in church, the Allen family provided all of the music. Antonio's love of soulful melodies was birthed during this period of his life.
Antonio first picked up the saxophone at eight years of age. He immediately began to play the music of television shows and commercials. He started his own band at 14. At 15, he received his first paying gig in a popular night club in the Atlanta area. Because of his young age, Antonio was only allowed on stage and in a dressing room behind stage. At that club, Antonio met and opened for Stevie Wonder, Al B Sure, Peabo Bryson, Jermaine Jackson, and Jean Carne. With that experience under his belt, Antonio continued to perform all over the city of Atlanta. During the 90's, Antonio could be seen regularly on the jazz scene of Atlanta providing sweet, soulful music in such venues as Jazzmen's, Club Illusions, Marco's, The Catfish Station, Cafe' 290, Hairston's, Teddy's Live, Vegas Nights, The Martini Club, The Crow's Nest and several other popular jazz spots.
Antonio's involvement on the jazz circuit in Atlanta also has afforded him the opportunity to perform at numerous weddings and private events in and out of the Atlanta area. Private parties for the Cola Cola Company, The Atlanta Athletic Club, Clark Atlanta University, numerous law firms, fraternities and sororities just to name a few. Antonio also did a tribute to Stevie Wonder at the home of homerun king, Hank Aaron. Antonio recently provided the music for the wedding and reception of the late Tupac Shakur's sister at the Shakur's family estate in Stone Mountain, GA.
Other highlights in Antonio's music career include live performances with former NBA star turned bassist, Wayman Tisdale, RandB legend Jean Carne, and platinum recording artist, Silk. One of Antonio's more special moments was when he performed Mr. Magic live on stage at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta with his musical idol, Kirk Whalum. Antonio just completed a recording with vocalist Mark Kibble, lead singer of Take 6, the 7 time Grammy award-winning vocal group. Antonio also has performed on three solo albums with Speech of Arrested Development.
While active on the jazz scene in Atlanta, Antonio didn't sever his relationship with the church, which is where it all began. Antonio played keyboards and served as minister of music at his mother's church, Outreach Deliverance Ministries, for several years. He also served on the staffs of Victory Baptist Church, Israel Baptist Church, and The Fountain of Life. Antonio has accepted several invitations to share his gift of music at churches all over the east coast.
Antonio Allen is truly a gifted musician and songwriter. Although his gifts have provided him opportunities to travel around the U.S. and abroad and to meet famous people as well, his motivation is not fame or fortune. More than anything, Antonio hopes his music touches the hearts of his listeners.