A Little Background......
Born and raised in a musical family on the island of Trinidad in the Southern Caribbean, music was a natural progression for Anthony Woodroffe Jr. His father Tony Woodroffe Snr, a renowned local trumpeter and educator and mother Jean soloist singer with iconic local folk choir La Petite musical raised him to pursue his personal ambitions and not their own wishes for him. He started singing at primary school level in the school choir at the age of 8, this awakened a deep love for music, but it was not till secondary school at the prestigious Fatima College that his natural ability as an instrumentalist became evident. It was during his tenure there that he entered the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival in 1999 and won several classes playing saxophone, flute, clarinet and recorder and at the championship level was named best junior instrumentalist and most outstanding wind instrumentalist.
After travelling to London in 2001 to perform with Ebony Steel Orchestra at a summer festival in Hyde Park and meeting Courtney Pine at one of his gigs at the Jazz Café in Camden, Anthony decided that jazz was the direction he wanted to take his playing. There was an internal struggle between the reality of life (doing Accountancy) and the dream of being a musician full time. After high school he worked as an accounting clerk, studied for ACCA in the evening and at night was a free- lance musician looking for gigs and jams to play at with local musicians.
In August 2005, with the support of family he made the move to London to audition for a place on a Music Degree program. In September 2006, Anthony enrolled on the BA (Hons) Jazz Studies degree at the esteemed Leeds College of Music in the UK. He has since had the opportunity to play under the tutelage of great musicians including Omar Puente, Cuban jazz violinist, who frequently gigs with Courtney Pine. At LCM, Anthony furthered his understanding and love of the Latin spirit within him, as the flautist for the LCM Latin Big Band. He was also a member of a regularly gigging Traditional Cuban Quintet (Cubano Quintero) founded by his college contemporary Alistair MacSween. He was also involved in other projects including the UK based contemporary jazz quartet “Groove Intrinsic” and Trinidadian Kaiso-Jazz group “Blue Culture”.
After completing his degree with honours, he has taken the time to refine what he has learnt at LCM by performing and composing as frequently as possible. In April 2010 he was featured with the Caribbean jazz group Élan Parle at the Tobago jazz festival (Chaka Khan was the Headline performer). In April 2012 again he featured with the group at Jazz on the Beach in Tobago. Tony Paul performs regularly as the featured performer with his own combo as well as performing as a side man with other groups.
Tobago Jazz Experience 2014 marked his first performance as a soloist at a major festival. Following his successful debut at that festival, Anthony went to highly competitive and intensive weeklong workshop with the world-renowned jazz master Paquito D’Rivera, held at Carnegie Hall in New York.
His direction is (as always) towards development and education. He is currently on the teaching staff at the Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago as a Senior Instructor of Woodwinds.