LSU Jazz Ensemble to Perform with Guest Artist Tony Dagradi at Shaver Theatre Nov. 3

11/02/2011 11:07 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Jazz Ensemble will host a performance on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre, located in the Music & Dramatic Arts Building, featuring guest artist Tony Dagradi.


A New Orleans-based saxophonist, Dagradi joins the LSU music students’ performance, led by Brian Shaw, LSU School of Music assistant professor of trumpet and jazz studies.


A native of New Jersey, Dagradi was a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with Andy McGhee, Phil Wilson, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano and Gary Burton. After two years, he left school to work full time and practice. His travels eventually brought him to New Orleans, where he found a vital and diverse musical culture. He soon signed on with the late great Professor Longhair and appeared on the rock and roll pioneer’s last three recordings. Since then, he has performed with virtually every important musical figure in the Crescent City. His soulful tenor saxophone has been heard in concert and on recordings with Ellis Marsalis, Gatemouth Brown, Tommy Ridgely, James Black, Snooks Eaglin, Alan Toussaint, Johnny Adams, Wardell Querzerque, The Meters, Al Hirt, Dr. John and Phillip Manuel, to name only a few.


Dagradi’s most essential musical connection is with a collective of high-powered jazz artists from the Crescent City known as Astral Project. Founded by Dagradi in 1978, Astral Project has established itself as the most exciting and consistently innovative contemporary jazz ensemble in the area. The group, which includes John Vidacovich on drums, James Singleton on bass and Steve Masakowski on guitar, recently celebrated the release of its seventh CD, “Blue Streak.” The dynamic solos and almost telepathic communication that has developed on the bandstand over the years are clearly evident on the new disc and point to new directions for the future.


Today, Dagradi divides his time between performing in a wide variety of settings, writing and teaching. On the national scene, he has appeared with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison, Nat Adderley, Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton, Dave Liebmann, Bobby Previte and a host of others. His distinctive playing style can be heard on recordings with Bley, Longhair, Allison, Marsalis, Astral Project, his own CDs as a leader and a multitude of other independent projects. Since 1990, he 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. At the same time, he keeps up a busy performance schedule. Working as a leader with Astral Project or as a sideman, Dagradi appears at jazz festivals and venues around the world.


Find out more about Dagradi by visiting his website at


General admission tickets for the event are $18, faculty/staff tickets are $15 and student tickets are $12. To purchase tickets, call the LSU Student Union Box Office at 225-578-5128, or visit

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2011