Jazz’s greatest improvisers create music that carries an emotional wallop. It’s a lesson that tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz learned well. His latest album, Flash Mob, spent eight weeks in jazz radio’s Top 10 and earned a four-star review in DownBeat Magazine, and his quintet was voted “2016 Northwest Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year” by Earshot, reinforcing his reputation as a passionate but poised improviser and smart purveyor of captivating melodies.
Tutored by such greats as Warne Marsh and Eddie Daniels, in high school Schwartz formed a group with future stars Peter Bernstein and Larry Goldings, and appeared in concert with Lionel Hampton and Woody Herman. After earning a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy at Harvard, Schwartz put music on the back burner for several years, but in 1995 he jumped back in, steadily building his reputation in the Bay Area and later Seattle, where he moved five years ago.
Schwartz has performed at jazz’s most prestigious clubs and festivals, including the Blue Note and Dizzy’s (NYC), Blues Alley (DC), Yoshi’s (Oakland), Jazz Alley (Seattle), and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Recent engagements include sold-out shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center and a feature as soloist with the Boston Pops in Boston Symphony Hall. Schwartz’s sextet will be debuting a number of brand new compositions and arrangements during their set at Summer Fest this year.