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Conversations with Tony Baragona

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Baragona.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve been a pro musician since high school. I started playing in dueling piano bars in 2000. I moved to central Missouri around late 2007. Started “Heartland Dueling Pianos” around 2010. Made the move out of piano bars a couple of years ago and we now do just private events and clubs that I book personally. My piano partner Chris lives in Roeland Park.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It`s never a smooth road in this business. I constantly have the stress of keeping us booked since it`s what I do for a living. Some parts of the year are great, some parts are slow. The last year and a half has been horrible. It`s improving now, but not as fast as I`d like. As far as the shows go, we`re generally a hit. So, few problems there.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I run a dueling piano company that targets events. I play piano and sing and am good at what I do. We`re known for creating a great party atmosphere. And when we do clubs, we`re really good at ringing the cash register for the business. I`m most proud of the amount of repeat business that we`ve created. The difference between us and a regular band is:
1) We play all requests (within reason), we play for the audience.
2) We interact with our audience constantly.
3) We can cover more songs and styles.
4) We’re all about the audience having fun.
5) We care about our clients being happy with what they’ve paid for and when we’re in clubs, we care about the owner making money.

The difference between us and a DJ is well………….we actually play and sing.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Outgoing personality.

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