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Toni Cannelli: Sheffield's professional drum teacher and drummer
Toni Cannelli at a young age..!
about Toni

Tony Cannon was born October 1957 in London, to June Cannon a professional tap dancer and William Cannon an engineer.

My early recollections of my mother are listening to her dance steps and trying to emulate the rhythms, I was encouraged to play the drums at a very young age and I soon realised this was going to be a lifelong passion. I have fond childhood memories of learning the rudiments on a military snare drum in the Hornchurch Drum and Trumpet Band and later as a teenager I studied with top U.K drum tutor Bob Armstrong.

My professional drumming career started at the age of 17, performing and recording with many top UK artists from Mac and Katie Kissoon to jazz guitarists Jim Mullen and Gary Boyle. I have toured America, Europe, the Middle and Far East as a session drummer with many different artists.

In 1985 after recording with an Italian band I was asked to use an ‘ Italian ‘ sounding name instead of Tony Cannon, Toni Cannelli my professional name which I am commonly known as was suggested by the producer and it has stuck ever since.


After many years of touring I settled in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where there has always been a strong music scene.
In 1987, I founded the DRUMMERS ALLIANCE and in that year organised the first young drummer competition in the U.K. This has had a huge impact on popularising drumming over the years and our events continue to grow each year.

As a drum educator I have performed many workshops and clinics including the FIRST Scottish drum Festival alongside Greg Bissonette. I have performed joint clinics with Ricky Lawson (Michael Jackson’s drummer), Jim Chapin (top U.S. drum educator, Mike Mangini, (drummer with Steve Vai and Extreme), Akira Jimbo (Japan’s no.1 drummer) and world renowned American drummer Dennis Chambers.

In the year 2000 I released my first educational dvd - "Play Drums Now" and shortly after, "The Complete Drummer", they are now available Worldwide (visit our DVDs page for more info/purchase) [CLICK HERE]

Most of my time is now dedicated to teaching - that can be in various ways from one to one tuition, clinics, workshops and demonstrations. I frequently get asked to do recording sessions.

I am constantly learning and exploring new techniques and different styles and incorporating this knowledge into my teaching – this is what makes drumming such a fascinating subject.

‘The day  I stop learning new things about drumming is the day I stop playing’

  Toni with Dennis Chambers