The Kennedy Center

Antonio Hart



Biography

Antonio Hart, saxophonist, was born September 30, 1968 in Baltimore.  He started playing the saxophone in elementary school and only became interested in jazz when he was in his late teens. Mr. Hart listened to a local jazz radio station and discovered saxophonists like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Sonny Stitt. Before long, studying jazz had become his priority. After graduating from the Baltimore School of Arts, he migrated to Boston to attend the Berklee School of Music. Upon graduation, he made his way to New York, joining forces with friend and classmate trumpeter Roy Hargrove. While touring with Hargrove, Mr. Hart pursued a master’s degree at Queens College, where he studied under saxophonist Jimmy Heath and trumpeter Donald Byrd.  In 1991, Mr. Hart recorded his own critically praised debut CD, For The First Time (1991), and in 1992 he recorded Here I Stand, for which Mr. Hart earned a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Solo. His third album, For Cannonball And Wood (1993), not only features recorded works from alto-saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and trumpeter Woody Shaw, but also dedicated two original pieces to them. Besides his solo career, Mr. Hart is widely known for his solid sideman contributions to recordings by Nat Adderley, Monty Alexander, Kathleen Battle, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Green, Wallace Roney, McCoy Tyner, and Phil Woods. On January 17, 2003, Antonio Hart appeared in the Terrace Theater with Hilton Ruiz, as part of the Art Tatum Piano Panorama.

“Standing with feet together, knees bending in time with his solos, Hart ripped through “Sticks” with a joyous energy that captured the infectious groove of the tune.” (Terry Perkins, St. Louis Post Dispatch)

February 2003
Antonio Hart