Tony Succar is a Peruvian-born, Miami-raised Latin Grammy-nominated producer, instrumentalist, arranger and composer who is bringing the New Salsa to life. With a Bachelors’ and a Masters’ degree in jazz performance from Florida International University, he has worked with such artists as Tito Nieves, India, Jon Secada, Marc Anthony, Sheila E., Arturo Sandoval, Judith Hill and Obie Bermúdez.

His debut Latin Jazz album, Live at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, was described as “an exciting fusion of South America, Cuba, Jazz and the flavor of South Beach.”

Succar’s most recent album, UNITY: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson reached #1 on Billboard’s Tropical chart, #1 on iTunes’ World Latin chart, and #1 on Amazon’s Latin Pop Music chart. The UNITY project was signed by Universal Music Group as part of a joint project between Universal Classics and Universal Music Latin Entertainment. The album was the original creation of Succar and evolved into a PBS Special that was televised nationally. 

UNITY is currently on a World Tour and has performed at the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival (Aruba), the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), Telmex Auditorium (Mexico), Vivo Beach (Puerto Rico) and Tempo Latino (France).

Stay Thirsty Magazine was pleased to visit with Tony Succar at this home in Miami to learn more about his music, his future and his upcoming appearance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

STAY THIRSTY: Tony Succar & Mixtura Band are appearing at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this coming July. What motivated you to bring your unique salsa/jazz/pop/Afro-Latino sound to this upstate New York venue?

TONY SUCCAR: Performing in New York is very special to me because the birth of Latin tropical music in the US truly started there. I just had my first big performance in NY at the Barclay’s Center for the New York Salsa Festival, and it was amazing! I was a part of a whole line up of artists, so it was a just a couple of songs that I performed. Here at Saratoga, it will be my full-blown show, so I’m very excited for this!

Mas Di Me trailer - Tony Succar

STAY THIRSTY: How has musical education from your family and from college and graduate school influenced your music and your conceptualization of music?

TONY SUCCAR: Every stage of my education has been very important. I started playing in my parents’ band at a very young age, that’s what connected me with my roots because they played a lot of Afro-Peruvian music, tropical salsa music, that became my core. After that, at college and graduate school, I studied jazz and also started exploring many different genres with my peers as there were students from all over the world. This is what truly shaped me to who I am today, a fusion of many different styles, but always strong in my roots… the tropical, the Afro-Peruvian rhythms.

Tony Succar - Mas Di Me

STAY THIRSTY: Your UNITY: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson album reached #1 on three important music charts and you created a nationally-televised primetime PBS special based on that album. What was the genesis of this album and how did you assemble the elements into such a successful project?

TONY SUCCAR: That project took me five years to complete and release. I don’t know how to explain how every puzzle piece was put together, because there were just so many elements. Imagine… over 100 musicians recorded, 10 Latin superstars, studios in Miami, NY, LA, Puerto Rico, Peru … it was just massive. Then to get the licenses of MJ’s music, then produce a live concert TV special for PBS with 35 musicians on stage, four days of production. It’s crazy how I was able to accomplish this, and all coming from one place … my bedroom, where my computer was and my midi-keyboard, and just an idea to pay tribute to the King of Pop, but with the best Latin arrangements and best Latin musicians that you could imagine. I had that vision very clearly. I didn’t know how I would accomplish it, but I just went step by step. It’s all about two things for me: passion and discipline.

Tony Succar

STAY THIRSTY: Your UNITY show features 37 on-stage musicians plus ten additional artists and you are touring the show globally. How have you been able to accomplish the logistics for such a massive project for your first major international tour?

TONY SUCCAR: It was very difficult to coordinate so many logistics, but I thank my Asian genes for this LOL. I’m very organized, very picky when it comes to the details. Luckily, I have a great group, my musicians, the crew, they are all extremely pro and we made it work. We haven’t been able to do as many shows as I’ve wanted to unfortunately, but it’s just the nature of the beast. I’ve just released a new album though, where I’ve been able to scale down the size of band but still maintain that same big sound. I expect many more shows to come out of this.

STAY THIRSTY: How do you view social media and its impact on your fans?

TONY SUCCAR: Social media is everything these days. That’s how I feel about it. In an era where the young generation spends so much time on their smartphones and computers … you have to be out there showcasing all of your music, content, videos, etc. And you have to present it in a way they can understand it. I owe all my success to social media to be honest … if it weren’t for people sharing my videos, I don’t think I’d be gigging at all.


All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.