After residing in New York City for the past decade, saxophonist/composer Tony Barba relocated to Chicago in 2010 where he has steadily been making a significant impact on the midwest music scene. Since moving, Tony has quickly made his mark playing at many prestigious Chicago music venues with a variety of jazz, rock, world music and blues bands. Tony is also a current member of the Youngblood Brass Band, which will release their 5th studio album this winter followed by a subsequent world tour in 2013.
Originally hailing from Acton, Massachusetts, Tony started playing clarinet in elementary school until his middle school band director needed a tenor saxophonist for the jazz band. After becoming a member of the Massachusetts All State jazz big band, Tony decided to pursue a degree in Music Performance from NYU, where he the privilege to study with tenor greats Ralph Lalama and George Garzone and other NYC jazz musicians such as Frank Kimbrough and Ron McClure. Tony attended the Banff International summer Jazz Workshop in 2000, getting to study and share the stage with Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Ben MonderJoey Baron and others. Immediately following this experience, Tony joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra for six months before completing his degree at NYU.
From 2001 until 2009, Tony was a much in demand freelance woodwind specialist, performing on saxophone, clarinet, and flute with many diverse artists such as Andrew Hill, Josh Ritter, Pete Yorn, Antibalis, the Violent Femmes, Ellery Eskelin, Shane Endsley, the Brooklyn Qawwali Party, David Murray, Andrew D'Angelo, Kirk Knuffke, Escort, and Peter Bernstein. Tony also led, recorded two albums (The Barbarians, 2003 and Your Pleasure is Our Business, 2007)and toured with his own funk/jazz band, the Barbarian Horde. In the fall of 2004, Tony again spent three months at the Banff Centre taking part in an individual music residency where he focused on solo performance and where he started initially planning the concept for his current band, FaceTime. In 2005, Tony joined the Youngblood Brass Band. With YBBB, Tony completed many tours and played numerous festivals in Europe, the United States, Canada and Africa.
Now based in Chicago, Tony performs with such bands/artists as Dave Herrero(blues), the BS Brass Band(New Orleans style brass), W.W. Lowman (post-rock), Kurt Schweitz's Drexel Project (fusion), the Quin Kirchner group (modern jazz), and Donovan Mixon's Hybrid Project (world-jazz). He can be seen performing in venues such as the Green Mill, the Whistler, Andy's Jazz Club, Evanston's Space, Martyrs and many more. Tony also recently released his first album with his jazz/rock trio, Facetime on Layered Records in June, 2012.
A veteran NYC saxophonist/composer now residing in Chicago, Tony Barba has leapt between improvised music, punk rock, jazz (or pretty much anything that can be honked out through a saxophone) and somehow landed on the sound for his new trio's album, Facetime. The record is an amped up romp, an aggressive tour through the stranger, more hostile spaces in an urban dreamscape. Brutally-effected-slash-highly-effective music for tomorrow's tomorrow.