Tony Dagradi, professor of saxophone and jazz studies, performed February 4-7, 2015 at the Kentucky Music Educators Association, Professional Development Conference. Dagradi performed music from his recent CD, “Gemini Rising,” and was supported by the University of Kentucky group, Mega Sax, lead by Miles Osland.
The 2015 conference was held at various venues around Louisville, including the Kentucky International Convention Center, The Kentucky Center, Cathedral of the Assumption, Hyatt Regency and The Galt House. The 2015 Professional Development Conference is a comprehensive event for Kentucky music educators and serves to provide a multitude of opportunities for professional development as well as musical and personal inspiration. The Keynote Address on Friday, February 6, featured Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser with the KMEA State Awards.
For over three decades Tony Dagradi 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 internationally recognized performer, composer, author and educator, he's often called upon to augment the woodwind section of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. His performing past includes five years as a member of the intenationally acclaimed Carla Bley band and appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderley.
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.