Jon Irabagon Talks Versatility, Technique, Finding your Sound, and More

Jon Irabagon

This week’s podcast features master sax-wrangler, Jon Irabagon.

The winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, Jon has played with a boatload of great musicians, both as a leader and as a sideman. A regular member of more than ten different groups, Jon’s musical diversity is downright amazing and quite possibly unprecedented for a jazz musician of his calibre. Besides being a part of several traditional jazz groups, Jon also plays with, in the words of his website, “a self-destructing bebop cyborg terrorist band” as well as a band that plays nothing but 80’s cover tunes.

As a student of monsters such as Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, and Dick Oatts, Jon’s musical foundation is more than rock solid.

Some of the luminaries he’s played alongside include Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Bright Eyes, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Deborah Gibson, John Abercrombie, Frank Wess, Wycliffe Gordon, Lou Reed, Ron Sexsmith, and many more.

Jon’s talent has taken him to every corner of the globe. Back home in New York City, John can be found playing at top venues such as Birdland, the Jazz Standard, 55 Bar, the Jazz Gallery, and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola to name just a few.

In addition to appearing on dozens of albums, Jon has been signed to Concord Records and has released several CDs as a leader.

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