Tofanelli began playing trumpet in 1976. In 1987 he graduated from the Musical Institute Luigi Boccherini of Lucca. One of his jazz teachers was Dean Benedetti (1922–1957), a noted Italian-American saxophonist and friend of Charlie Parker.
From 1995 Mr. Tofanelli has appeared in television productions for RAI, Mediaset, La7, Telemontecarlo and SKY, including Rockpolitik with Adriano Celentano, Stasera pago io with Fiorello, Pavarotti & Friends, Maurizio Costanzo Show, Buona Domenica with Demo Morselli orchestra, Passaparola, La Corrida and Crozza Italia.
Tofanelli has toured extensively over Europe and the United States. For example, Tofanelli performed with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band in Italy, England, and the United States. Much of his music teaching has been in Italy; however, in the United States he has conducted master classes at California State University, Northridge, Fullerton College, and the First Baptist Church of Decatur in Atlanta.
Tofanelli has recorded with Italian artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Rosario Fiorello, Jovanotti, Adriano Celentano, the Big Band di Demo Morselli, Gianni Morandi, Renato Zero, Elio e le Storie Tese, Toto Cutugno, Dirotta su Cuba, Fausto Leali, Articolo 31, Gino Paoli and Tullio De Piscopo.
He has performed with numerous international artists as well, including George Michael, Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, Michael Bublè, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Crawford, Matt Whiteman, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Samantha Fox, Imagination, Patrick Hernandez, Tony Hadley, Paul Young, Gloria Gaynor and Gibson Brothers.
In addition, Tofanelli has performed with The Guthrie High School Jazz Band, from Guthrie, Oklahoma.
While even professional trumpeters typically lose power and control in the extreme upper register of the instrument, Tofanelli is noted not only for great power but for the control, relaxation, and beauty of tone he possesses in the notes above double-high C (C7-C8).
With Enrico RavaRava on the Dance Floor (ECM, 2012)