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Roy McGrath

Roy McGrath is a tenor saxophonist, composer, bandleader and sideman living in Chicago, IL. He recently graduated with a master’s degree in Music from Northwestern University, where he studied under Victor Goines (saxophonist for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Director of Jazz Studies at Northwestern University). He transcribes, arranges, and composes music for a variety of situations, and currently works as the Woodwind/Brasswind instructor at Flatt’s and Shape Musical Academy in Chicago.

Born and raised in San Juan, PR, Roy sang in school choirs before picking up the saxophone at age 16. After attending the Berklee College of Music Summer Workshop, he earned a full scholarship to attend Berklee School of Music’s Five Week Summer Performance Program. He honed his improvisational skills by performing with notable jazz pianist and Beach Boys’ alumni Carli Muñoz.

Roy pursued his studies at Loyola University in New Orleans under the tutelage of Tony Dagradi (saxophonist for Astral Project) and composer/arranger John Mahoney. He graduated in 2009 with BM in Jazz Performance. During his time in New Orleans, Roy performed with a variety of musicians including: Gustavo Cortiñas-Fouilloux, Trey Boudreaux, Chris Guccione, Joshua Gouzy, Marlena Dzis, Fredy Omar, John Marcey, Café Con Leche and Easy Company. His performances include three appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and an appearance at the New Orleans French Quarter Fest with Fredy Omar y su Banda Latina.

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“...{When I Leave You}, written for a former lover, is a nostalgic song that features McGrath’s gently caressing, yearning tenor over Latin flavored vamps of the rhythm section.” —Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

“...The tenor sax chair switches off between Victor Goines and McGrath, but the line-up is otherwise stable and consistent. Both saxophones are forthright voices in a team of equals. …And though the record could sound conservative and mainstream, at its best moments, adventurous soloing and arrangements prevent things from growing dull. This is most striking on longer cuts like “Skepticism,” with its fiery interplay of the horns of trumpeter Justin Copeland and McGrath.” —Jeff Dayton-Johnson, All About Jazz

“Another fine tune is the ballad “When I Leave You,” a sensitive reflection on the poignant regret of parting

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Albums

Desafío Candente

Woolgathering Records
2021

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Remembranzas

Self Produced
2018

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Martha

Self Produced
2015

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Videos

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