12 Stories

Joe Tunon

"12 Stories: A one-man Bible musical" by Joe Tunon. Also available as a live performance. Go to the Contact & Booking page to book a presentation.

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Look Ma, No Band!

Joe Tunon

A collection of solo acoustic covers, with a couple of originals, similar to what I play at the gigs.

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Joe Tunon

My first CD, these are arrangements of various original band songs collected over the years. I had fun recording, mixing, and publishing it, hence the title.

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On My Way

Joe Tunon

A long time ago, in a bedroom far, far away, I recorded my first multitrack album. I was 21 when I wrote these. (Pictured here slightly younger)

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I was born in 1964, the year the Beatles first came to America. What does this mean? Nothing. I just think it's cool. 

In the 1970s, when I was finally tall enough to reach the keys of the piano, I started figuring out how to play the songs I heard on the radio. At 16 I got my first guitar, and I used to sit on my bed for hours figuring out the chords to my favorite songs. (I still do, only now it takes a few minutes instead of a few hours.)

In the 80s lip-sync contests were all the rage. I did a mean Springsteen and won enough contests to buy myself a keyboard and even got called to be on the show "Puttin' On the Hits" (anyone remember that?). I didn't want to be known as a lip-sync act, though, so I passed. And to think I could have been the next Milli Vanilli. (If you don't know who that is, you definitely don't remember "Puttin' On the Hits".)

I started songwriting on the keyboard, and my friend John Portuondo and I composed a song that was chosen as the official song for the commissioning of a WWII battleship, the U.S.S.Leyte Gulf. It was sung by Juan Secada (before he became known as Jon Secada), and the song was performed by the U.S. Navy band on the day of the commissioning. (Writing a song that Jon Secada sang is pretty much my claim to fame!)

I didn't have a band yet, so I wrote some songs and played the parts myself on my first home-made album "On My Way". The keyboard's electronic innards sparked my interest in computers, which eventually led to my day job as a server engineer. Meanwhile I was able to express my music and my faith by playing in and directing a couple of guitar based choirs at Church. John and I tried making several bands work as well, but we had a knack for finding the most talented and irresponsible musicians in Florida. Eventually the music just went into hibernation. Until...

Fast forward almost 20 years. I'm still a computer engineer and one day (ca. 2001) I was asked by a friend and coworker if I would pull out the old 80s lipsync routine for a United Way benefit show at the company. It went over really well and I ended up playing in and eventually directing the bands for the next 5 years (see pics and archived videos). I was asked to join several bands after that, but I didn't want to relive the band drama that I had experienced before, so I decided to go solo with the acoustic guitar. It was the best decision I ever made and I've been happily gigging ever since!

I got to play every imaginable event and became a regular at places like Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger In Paradise, Cafe Med at the Falls (later Bargello Bistro), the airport Sheraton (gotta have an airport hotel gig!), Schnebly Winery, and my favorite venue of all, Black Point Marina, where I am currently playing. (Shout out to Frank Bernstein, Iron Mike, Billie Jo, Jon Wubbena, and Connie Watson for all of the work and the love over the years!).

In 2010 I won a nationwide Ovation Guitar contest (see my winning entry on bottom of the videos page), the grand prize of which was a personal Adamas guitar that I got to customize from the ground up. (Pics here).

A year later another musical dream came true when I married my soulmate Iris. How is this a musical dream? Ah! Like every musician, I dreamt of fame, fortune, any girl I wanted, and to change the world with my music. I may not have gotten the fame or the fortune, but I got the girl I wanted! (Tip: the opening chords to "Drive" by Incubus are way more effective than any pickup line ;-) And as for changing the world with my music, that part comes later.

I had some songs left over from the band days, so I played the different parts again and recorded "D.I.Y.", followed by an album of acoustic covers, "Look Ma, No Band!", to reflect what I do at the gigs. And although I'm almost exclusively a solo act, in 2013 my friend Fernando Marrero and I auditioned for America's Got Talent as a duo, and we almost landed a spot on the show. (One more round!)

In 2015 I suffered an unexpected back injury that forced me to stop performing altogether, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It forced me to take the down time I would need (two years!) to write and record an album that summarizes the whole Bible, which I had taught on and off over the years. I finished it in 2017 and started performing it in 2018 at different churches as my back began to heal.

In 2018 I joined Musicians On Call, an organization that brings live music to patients at health care facilities. (And that's the changing the world part, and it is the most fulfilling gig of my entire life.)

In 2020, after much prayer and deliberation, with a supportive wife behind me, we made the jump and I am now a full time musician, living the dream. So if you need a live musician, I once again quote the boss: This gun's for hire!

And on that high note, this musical bio comes to a close. Thanks for reading!