Tony Oxley was born in Sheffield, England. Oxley, a self-taught pianist by the age of eight, first began playing the drums at age seventeen. While in the Black Watch military band from 1957 to 1960 he studied music theory and improved upon his drumming technique. Oxley moved to London in 1966 and became house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s, where he accompanied visiting musicians including Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans. In 1969 Oxley appeared on the John McLaughlin album Extrapolation. Later that year, he formed his owned quintet consisting of Derek Bailey, Jeff Clyne, Evan Parker and Kenny Wheeler, and released the album Baptized Traveller. Following this album the group was joined by Paul Rutherford on trombone and became a sextet, releasing the album 4 Compositions for Sextet in 1970. Through the 1980s he worked with various musicans, including Tony Coe and Didier Levallet, and formed his own Celebration Orchestra during the latter half of that decade. Oxley toured extensively with Anthony Braxton in 1989, and also began a long lasting working relationship with Cecil Taylor. Today, Oxley continues to perform and record music.