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Anton Schwartz

“What I require for music to really captivate me,” Anton says, “is groove and intellect working in tandem. Music that gets into your bones, into your head and into your heart.”

From Louis Armstrong and Lester Young to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, jazz’s greatest improvisers create music that carries an emotional wallop. It’s a lesson that tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz learned well. Like the giants from whom he draws inspiration, Schwartz approaches jazz as a vehicle for reaching the heart and the head. At a time when many of his contemporaries seem to be making music more for their musical colleagues than a wider audience, Schwartz stands out as a player determined to communicate with his listeners. Tenor sax legend Illinois Jacquet summed up Schwartz’s artistry succinctly when he told him, “You play the tenor sax like it’s meant to be played.”

His latest album, Flash Mob, surged to the sixth spot on the jazz radio charts and earned a coveted four-star review in Down Beat magazine, reinforcing his reputation as a passionate but poised improviser and smart purveyor of well-wrought melodies. Schwartz credits an upbringing immersed in jazz and adventurous popular music with shaping his approach to improvising, which melds irresistible rhythmic momentum with emotionally charged lyricism.

“I feel lucky because the music I grew up on was Earth Wind & Fire, Jimi Hendrix, The Police, Muddy Waters and Steely Dan… as well as Charlie Parker, Stanley Turrentine, John Coltrane, Lennie Tristano and Wes Montgomery,” says Schwartz. “I’ve never really been interested in making music for other musicians. I want to create music that conveys something complex and intriguing—through the rhythm, the structure, the interplay of melody and harmony—and distill all that into something clear and beautiful.”

Schwartz comes to his populist sensibility via a heady path. He took the full- time plunge into music relatively late when, at the age of 27, he decided to step away from high-level research in Artificial Intelligence. Since then he’s forged ties with some of jazz’s heaviest hitters, including pianists Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Randy Porter, Josh Nelson, Art Lande and Eric Reed… guitarists Peter Bernstein, Bruce Forman, Ed Cherry, Julian Lage and Dan Balmer… Trumpeters Dominick Farinacci, Thomas Marriott and Scott Wendholt… and vocalists Ed Reed, Jackie Ryan, Denise Donatelli and Rebecca Kilgore.

Born in 1967 and raised in New York City amidst a family known for intellectual ferment, Schwartz began playing clarinet at 12 and switched to the saxophone at 14. Enthralled by jazz, he found invaluable mentors early on, studying with reed masters Warne Marsh and Eddie Daniels. In high school he had the chance to perform with the likes of Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman.

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Album Review
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"Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz is a guiding light of both the Bay Area and national jazz scenes... [He possesses] the commanding tone and boundless creativity of a masterful jazz artist." — SFJAZZ

"Impressive and virtually impossible to resist." – Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

“A superior tenor-saxophonist from Northern California, Anton Schwartz has his own sound and a fresh conception of forward-looking hard bop… Schwartz has created a CD worthy of the best of 1960s Blue Note… there are several songs on [Flash Mob] that deserve to become future standards.” – Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor



Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


"Anton is an exceptional player and inspirational teacher, not to mention a lot of fun! He is organized and prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance and education... What more could a student want in a teacher?!" — Susan Muscarella, Director, The California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton is a superb teacher. He listens to my playing and singles out specific areas for me to focus on, which has improved my improvisation dramatically. He is engaging & enthusiastic..." — Terrigal Burn, pianist

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Flash Mob



Radiant Blue



Holiday Time



The Slow Lane



When Music Calls



Swamp Thang

From: Flash Mob
By Anton Schwartz



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