Tony Zawinul is the eldest son of legendary jazz pianist and composer Joe Zawinul and barrier-breaking Maxine Zawinul, first ever African-American Playboy model.
Tony grew up in both Los Angeles and New York, surrounded by his parents’ musical peers and artistic friends. Their love for the arts inspired within him a deep passion for music and storytelling that, to this day, connects all of his projects together.
As a multimedia artist, Tony seamlessly combines music composing and filmmaking at his own production company. He is also Executor of the Zawinul Estate and Creative Director, Founder, and President of the Joe Zawinul Foundation for Achievement.
In 1993, Tony moved to Milan where he worked on numerous film projects for 15 years. In 2001, he directed Two Years with the Zawinul Syndicate, a documentary following The Zawinul Syndicate, his father’s post-Weather Report jazz band. In 2004, he directed and edited a benefit concert for victims of the Indonesian tsunami, which featured some of Italy’s top music artists. In 2005, he produced, directed and edited the Twenty Five DVD for the band Yellowjackets, as well as two DVDs for Italian musician Eugenio Finardi, Il Silenzio e lo Spirito and Anima Blues. Between 2006 and 2008, Tony produced, directed and edited interviews and concert footage for renowned world and jazz musicians, including Amit Chaterjee, Marcus Miller, Karim Ziad, Etienne Mbappe and T.M. Stevens.
Tony continues to expand his horizons as a filmmaker and is presently in production for the upcoming documentary Joe Zawinul: An American Dream, which seeks to honor his father’s talent, passionate personality, and awe-inspiring career. Another filming venture is This is This: The Incredible Journey of Weather Report about his father’s internationally famous experimental jazz group.