Biography of Anthony J. Agostinelli

Author, jazz historian, cable TV producer and retired university professor is a resident of Portsmouth, RI. He is an internationally-known resource for the music of Stan Kenton, Don Ellis and many other jazz artists and has written a history and discography about the Newport Jazz Festival©. He has published many articles about jazz artists and jazz research and was the editor of a jazz newsletter (The Network, about Stan Kenton) for over 25 years. He has hosted jazz and music radio programs for Public Radio and local commercial stations and has lectured and hosted events all over the world. Currently he produces the Peggy award winning TV program Jazz Bash on Cox Cable which has been on air for over 10 years in Rhode Island. He has been offering courses at the Circle of Scholars at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. Tony is a life-long resident of Rhode Island.

Agostinelli has worked as a professional musician in Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Guam and Okinawa. He studied the accordion with Vincent D'Alessio, and trumpet with Wilfrid Roberts. He also played baritone horn, and percussion instruments. He was a member of the La Salle Academy marching band and orchestra, the St. Michael's College (VT) marching band, and was a member of the jazz and swing group called the NuTones in Northern Vermont. (The NuTones rotated once with the Ray McKinley Orchestra at the Burlington Memorial Auditorium (VT) in the mid-1950s). In the 1940s he joined with soprano Anna Maria Saritelli and baritonist Ray Martone for a regular schedule Sunday afternoon radio program on WDEM; their announcer was Sherm Strickhouser. Agostinelli has regularly appeared on NPR as a guest on the music of Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, and Woody Herman. He played as a working musician with the Bert Peters™ orchestra in the 1940s, and other R.I. musicians, and from the 1940s to the 1960s with various other musicians including: Bill Cofrances in Vermont and Director of the Okinawa Symphony Orchestra in the 1950s; August Gale, guitarist, in southwest Oklahoma; and various jazz and swing musicians in Northern Vermont, including Stillman Millington, bassist; the Rood Brothers, trombonist and drums, Ken Belding, drummer. His accordion playing was styled after accordion luminaries, Charles Magnante, Art Van Damme, Ernie Felice and Angelo DiPippo. He has been a lecturer on the history of jazz throughout his teaching career.

Jazz History Database JHDB WPI Anthony Agostinelli Jazz Bash

In addition to his expertise in jazz, Agostinelli has been a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Rhode Island. He has worked as a newspaper deliverer, a market stock boy, a waiter, musician, social worker, an associate director of the United Way in Rhode Island, Director of Economic Opportunity for the State of Rhode Island in the Office of Governor, Executive Director of the Urban Coalition, an urban planning consultant, an administrative assistant to a Mayor, a consultant of the New England Roman Catholic Dioceses for Social Justice efforts, an adjunct professor at Rhode Island colleges, and a professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island for some 25 years. He has served on many boards and committees. In the past he has served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister in his Roman Catholic parishes.

His hobbies include: music, photography, writing and gardening. He has published his first mystery novel, The Professor Was Dead, which is available on, and (his publisher). He is currently working on a second mystery, The Priest Was Dead, soon to be published.

Anthony was married to Barbara E. Agostinelli for 51 years before her death in 2016. They have four grown, married children, and five grandchildren (Maria, Katherine, Mark, and Matthew) (Their respective spouses are: Denis, Frank, Debra, and Carmen) (Their children are: Niko; Francesca and Cecilia; Mason and William. Matt and Carmen do not have children).


Jazz Bash

Anthony Agostinelli’s award-winning "Jazz Bash" features more than fifty television shows profiling hundreds of artists in a conversational interview format.