Duran Duran Wiki
David Tofani
Background information
Born USA
Occupation Musician
Instruments Saxophone, clarinet, piano, flute
Years active 1970s-present
Associated acts Simon & Garfunkel
Barbra Streisand
Barry Manilow
Duran Duran

David Tofani is an American musician, whose work has included performing saxophone on Duran Duran's Big Thing album.


Dave musical career began in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised. His inspiration to take up music came from his uncle, Americo Dell'Omo, who introduced Dave to recordings by Dave Brubeck with Paul Desmond, Stan Kenton, and Miles Davis. Dave began playing clarinet when he was 8, saxophone at age 12 and began studying piano when he turned 13. In addition to playing in school bands, Tofani began performing with professional musicians when he was 15 as a member of the John Nicolosi Orchestra, a group that included Dave's Uncle Americo. The group came in fourth place in a national big band competition for which Dave wrote two arrangements.

Dave moved to New York City when he was 17 to attend the Juilliard School, where he got his master's degree. His first session work was with the Bell Telephone Hour TV show orchestra (with Donald Voorhies conducting) backing artists such as Andre Previn and Benny Goodman.

After graduating from Juilliard, Tofani was drafted into the Army and played in the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point for three years. During this period he expanded the scope of his woodwind playing by studying flute with Harold Bennett and Tom Nyfenger. After being discharged from the service, Dave returned to New York to resume his professional career. Tofani was a member of the National Jazz Ensemble under Chuck Israels, (they recorded several albums), the David Matthews Big Band as the first reed player (he recorded nine albums with them), the New York Saxophone Quartet for seven years, and Jazz Antiqua. Tofani formed his own band, The Dave Tofani Jazz Quintet which performed in the New York area at, Mikell's, Seventh Avenue South and other top clubs.

In addition, Tofani has recorded in the studio with top jazz artists such as David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, George Benson, Buddy Rich, Jim Hall, the Dave Matthews Big Band, Art Farmer & Yusef Lateef, Urbie Green & Grover Washington Jr. and John Lucien. Jazz artists Tofani has played in concert with include Hall, Green, Matthews, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Bob James and Thad Jones & Mel Lewis.

Tofani has both recorded and played onstage with Frank Sinatra, Babra Streisand, Simon & Garfunkel, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett and James Taylor. Also recording with Quincy Jones, Donald Fagen, Paul Simon, James Galway, Diana Ross, Soft Cell, Roger Daltrey, Chaka Kahn, Michael Franks and Duran Duran.

In recognition of his consistently outstanding performances on saxophone Tofani is a three-time winner of the prestigious Most Valuable Player Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Dave also had the distinction of being one of the very few players ever to be nominated on five woodwind instruments: Soprano, Alto & Tenor Saxophones, Flute and Clarinet.

A selection of credits[]

  • Kate Taylor - Kate Taylor (1978)
  • Big Thing - Duran Duran (1988)
  • An American Garden - David Tofani (2001)
  • The Music of Dave Tofani - David Tofani (2006)
  • Parting Should Be Painless - Roger Daltry (2006)
  • Nights at the Inn - David Tofani (2007)