Saxophonist, Tony Dagradi, is an internationally recognized jazz performer, composer, author and educator.
For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano sax with many of the Crescent City's most celebrated artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, James Booker, The Meters, Dr. John, James Black, Johnny Adams and Gatemouth Brown. An accomplished classical performer as well, he's often called upon to augment the woodwind section of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley band and appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderly.
Dagradi is most well known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quintet made up of top New Orleans players dedicated to playing cutting-edge improvisational music. Over the years the band has performed throughout the world, garnering universal praise as one of the most innovative, compelling jazz bands anywhere.
Since 1990 Dagradi has been a Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Loyola University in New Orleans where he maintains a large saxophone studio, teaches classes in improvisation, and directs various ensembles.
PRAISE FOR "GEMINI RISING"
"Master saxophonist, Dagradi creates a seamless full-bodied sound, each song emotional, riveting and joyful. Any way you slice it, Gemini Rising is an irresistible album."
- Ken Micaleff (Downbeat)
"Kudos to Dagradi for not only selecting, writing, and arranging for saxophone ensembles a set of interesting and enjoyable tunes on the CD, but also performing the heck out of them on each instrument."
- Frank Bongiorno (Saxophone Today)
"Gemini Rising is a unique entry in Tony Dagradi’s discography...the results are quite simulating and spirited...highly recommended!"
- Scott Yannow (Jazz Inside)
"Always a saxophonist of invention, Dagradi has really become a master of the baritone. Gemini Rising looks back to the past for inspiration and forward to the future for new ways to hear and explore jazz."
- Geraldine Wycoff (Offbeat)
“Tony Dagradi is the optimal front man. His singing tenor and soprano saxophone style is a compendium of jazz history, blending the verbose blues of CannonballAdderley with more current “outside” trends.”- James Rozzi, Jazziz
“Dagradi is one of the best unacknowledged tenors around.”
- Mike Fish, Wired Magazine
"Tony Dagradi runs harmonic mazes with aplomb. (On tenor, Dagradi is virile and fleet, on soprano he's a pastoral piper - take your pick)."
- Chris Waddington, NOLA.com
“A fiercely compelling improviser (and) an accomplished composer.”
- Bill Milkowski, Downbeat
“…spiritually intense tenor.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune