Jon Irabagon

Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, has performed extensively as both a sideman and as a leader in an ever-expanding range of projects, from the most straight ahead to the most searching. Jon has studied under such divergent artists as Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Oatts, Jason Moran, Billy Drewes, Greg Fishman, Roscoe Mitchell, Greg Osby, Jon Gordon, Ned Rothenberg, Vijay Iyer, Evan Parker, and Victor Goines, and has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries such as Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes, Joey DeFrancesco, Tom Harrell, Kenny Barron, Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Deborah Gibson, Aoife O’Donovan, Barry Altschul, Renee Fleming, Michael Buble, Kenny Washington, Mark Helias, Lou Reed, John Taylor, Rufus Reid, Jenny Lewis, Warren Wolf, Mary Halvorson, Adam Nussbaum, Ron Sexsmith, Nicholas Payton, James Carter, John Hebert, Dave Douglas, Victor Lewis, EJ Strickland, Frank Kimbrough, Gerald Clayton and Evan Parker. Jon has performed and led masterclasses and workshops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Macau, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and Japan, and performs regularly in New York City’s finest venues such as Birdland, the Jazz Standard, the Blue Note, 55 Bar, the Jazz Gallery, Zebulon, Barbes, the Cornelia St. Cafe and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. Jon’s conception of complete musical and extra-musical inclusion in his improvisation and composition is apparent in the wide-ranging body of work he has compiled in his young career. His quintet Outright! (Innova) embraces the complete history of jazz while wrapping it up in group improvisation, at times in harmony and at times at war with one another, while his continuous, additive duo with drummer Mike Pride (I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But the Blues, Loyal Label) tests the boundaries of long-form, motivic based improvisation. Jon’s further projects include his trio featuring legendary drummer Barry Altschul (that released a CD on Hot Cup Records in September 2010) and a plethora of sideman work, including his longtime tenure in the self-destructing terrorist bebop band Mostly Other People do the Killing. Jon’s major label debut, The Observer, was released on Concord Records in October of 2009 and features one of the most revered rhythm sections in jazz– Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, and Victor Lewis, along with trumpet stalwart Nicholas Payton and comping wizard Bertha Hope. He has also recently launched his own label, Irabbagast Records, to release his own new, searching music. In November 2012, the label will release the initial two records simultaneously– the follow ups to both “Outright!” and “I Don’t Hear Nothin’ but the Blues.” from

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