Tony Barba is a saxophonist/educator/producer whose career has spanned the last twenty-five years. Originally hailing from Acton, Massachusetts, Tony started studying music at a young age beginning with piano lessons and then moving on to clarinet, guitar and finally settling on tenor saxophone, which in turn became his main instrument. A love of improvising developed after participating in the 1997 Massachusetts all-state jazz band (directed by Rufus Reid), which led to his decision to dedicate his life to the art form. Tony attended NYU from 1997-2001 to study jazz performance (B.A.) with such notable teachers as George Garzone, Frank Kimbrough, and Ralph Lalama. After graduating, he decided to stay in NYC to play and teach professionally for the next decade. Following a brief stint in Chicago, Tony has resided in Madison, Wisconsin since 2013.
In 2022 he joined the touring band of major label artist Father John Misty and completed several tours throughout the US and South America, plus a performance featuring his playing on the tv show Jimmy Kimmel Live. Notable venues on 2022 tours included Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks amphitheater, and the primavera festivals in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Mexico City.
Tony has also had the pleasure of performing and recording throughout his career with such notable and diverse artists as Makaya McCraven, Bon Iver, David Murray, Josh Ritter, Pete Yorn, Glen David Andrews, the Mountain Goats, the Youngblood Brass Band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Temptations. Locally back home in Madison he is currently a member of Michael Brenneis’s Plutonium, La Combi, and the Paul Dietrich Jazz Orchestra, . He co-leads the organ quartet Barbacoa and the improvised duo project Outside the Sphere with drummer Michael Brenneis. Additionally, Tony leads Blood Moon, a quartet which released its self-titled debut recording on Shifting Paradigm records in 2020, and a trio which self-released the album Blue Plate Special in 2021. Other recording credits as a leader and composer include two from his former NYC based band The Barbarians in 2003 (self-titled) and 2007 (Your Pleasure is Our Business), the saxophone trio record entitled Facetime (2012), and two self released solo albums featuring saxophone and electronic manipulation entitled Winter’s Arms (2016) and Ether (2019). In addition to performing, Tony has been the instructor of the Vel Phillips Memorial High School Jazz Band since 2017 and has a private studio of saxophone students.
Tony Barba-tenor sax & bass clarinet