Now Available: 

The newest CD from Tony showcases his skills and talents as a composer, arranger and instrumentalist.  In a unique personal statement, he layers various saxophones to create dense textures and surprisingly robust arrangements. 

Jazz Inside - Gemini Rising 

Gemini Rising is a unique entry in Tony Dagradi’s discography. For this project of mostly original music, Dagradi overdubbed on four of his horns and is just joined by one of three different drummers. After hearing one selection, it is obvious that nothing is missing and the results are quite simulating and spirited. 

Tony Dagradi has long been one of the leading modern jazz performers based in New Orleans. Normally he is heard on tenor and soprano. Among the many artists with whom he has performed are Ellis… Read more

Gemini Rising - Offbeat Magazine 

In the late '80s, Tony Dagradi played and recorded with the New Orleans Saxophone Ensemble, an all-star group that was modeled after the internationally renowned World Saxophone Quartet.  It included the late Earl Turbinton and Fred Kemp plus baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis.

Gemini Rising uses a similar concept though with a major twist.  Dagradi performs all the horn parts - soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones - accompanied by a single drummer.  Herlin Riley, Johnny Vidacovich and Troy Davis take… Read more

Gemini Rising - Now Available! 

With the release of “Gemini Rising,” Tony Dagradi offers up an engaging album in which he layers various saxophones to create dense textures and surprisingly robust arrangements.  In fact, the entire saxophone family, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone, is used by Tony to fashion all of the melodic and harmonic content; not to mention the intense soloing,  The only other element of orchestration is the addition of three of New Orleans’ finest drummers; John Vidacovich, Herlin Riley and Troy Davis. 

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Astral Project At New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013 

Astral Project first played New Orleans Jazz Fest in 1978. And this savvy, virtuosic quartet has been bringing its well-honed modern jazz ideas to the Fair Grounds ever since. On Friday at the Jazz Tent, the quartet showed that the young lions of decades past haven't lost their roar, their teeth, or the feline grace of their improvisations.

Reedman Tony Dagradi still runs harmonic mazes with aplomb. (On tenor, Dagradi is virile and fleet, on soprano he's a pastoral piper - take your pick).

Guitarist Steve… Read more

Jazz Fest Minutes: Tony Dagradi 

Saxophonist and Astral Project founder Tony Dagradi grew up in Summit, New Jersey. By high school he knew what he wanted to do: play jazz.

“It was almost as if I didn’t have a choice,” he says. “I didn’t think about, well, how much money am I going to make or how do I get a gig. I was just — all I wanted to do was play.”

After a couple of years at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Dagradi entered an intense period of jazz rehearsal and listening.

“That was it for me. When I started listening to Coltrane I… Read more

Saxophone Journal 

November/December 2012 Vol. 37, No. 2

New Saxophone Publications by David Demsey

Sax Solos Over Jazz Standards: Book-CD set
Recommended for: musicians who already have some knowledge of jazz theory, but are struggling to unlock their own “true voice” as a composer or improviser
Tony Dagradi has a long reputation as a major-league modernist tenor player. He has for years been on the faculty of Loyola University in New Orleans, and has played with the best of that city’s legendary musicians as well… Read more

Sax Solos Over Jazz Standards 

Today, I would like to introduce “Sax Solos Over Jazz Standards,” a new book and play along CD which was just released by Jamey Aebersold’s Jazz Books. My goal in producing this music was to present sophisticated and balanced melodic statements based on standard changes which could serve as superior models for practice and study. While these solos are carefully and painstakingly ‘composed,’ each is designed to evoke the spirit of an improvised performance.
At the core of any investigation into the art of… Read more

Interview With Tony Dagradi 

Astral Project is often called the best contemporary jazz band in New Orleans, with good reason. They play with the cohesion of a band that’s been together fordecades, andthe passion of youngsters. Their music is at times outside, inside, funkified, and even a bit sanctified.
Tony Dagradi is the leader of the group. Playing a number of saxophones, he can surprise a jaded listener by taking the soprano sax places smooth jazzers have never dreamed about.

I had a chance to talk with Dagradi by phone from his New… Read more

Tony Dagradi Sextet Plays Kind Of Blue 

On March 5, 2009, in Roussell Hall at Loyola University in New Orleans, the Tony Dagradi Sextet featuring Jamelle Williams on trumpet, Rex Gregory on alto, Michael Pellera on piano, Roland Guerin on bass and Troy Davis on drums re-created the music from Miles Davis' landmark recording, "Kind Of Blue."

Click here to see a Vimeo recording of the event.

Tony Dagradi’s Sextet opened the show on Thursday, March 5th, at Loyola’s beautiful Roussel Performance Hall. The sextet performed the music of Miles Davis’… Read more

Tony Dagradi Organ Trio 

It’d be tough for anyone to possibly enjoy playing their instrument more than drummer Simon Lott does. Watch Lott a few times and you’ll notice that a distinct full-body grinignites even as he approaches the kit. By the time he plays the first note, his face is aglow with rapturous delight that infects all those around him–players and listeners alike.
Tonight’s lucky subjects included duo-mate Brian Coogan(organ) and Astral Project’s Tony Dagradi(tenor and soprano sax). The last two times this trio performed… Read more