(born August 18, 1956 in Saint Paul, Minnesota
) is an American bassist (both double bass and bass guitar), best known as an accompanist to Bob Dylan
, with whom he has played since 1989. He is Dylan's longest-running sideman, and has sometimes been characterized as his "musical director" as well.
His musical heritage descends from the Camelia Brass Band in New Orleans led by his grandfather, D'Jalma Garnier, (also spelled Ganier while with Camelia Brass Band), a legendary early jazz player noted on the Preservation Hall roster in the New Orleans French Quarter. Garnier is one of numerous grandsons descended from D'Jalma Thomas Garnier the New Orleans bandleader, trumpet player, pianist and violinist said to have taught Louis Armstrong at the New Orleans Boys Home for Colored Waifs. Tony Garnier is the younger brother of D'Jalma Garnier
born 1954, the fiddler, composer, guitarist, and "pedestrian scholar" of Louisiana Creole fame. The two brothers, along with first cousin Stephen "Stevo" Théard, are the only descendants of Papa Garnier to become professional musicians in the legacy of this significant New Orleans musical family. Both of their parents were musicians working with non-profits in California.
Garnier worked with Michelle Branch
on her third studio album, Everything Comes and Goes
, released in 2010.