Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, has been earning steadily growing acclaim in many musical genres since his move to New York City from Chicago in the fall of 2001. After earning degrees in music from both the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School (and studying with musicians as diverse as Dave Liebman, Dick Oatts, Victor Goines, Vijay Iyer, Greg Fishman, Greg Osby, Jon Gordon, Ned Rothenberg, Roscoe Mitchell and Evan Parker), Jon has continued his musical learning with performing and/or recording with a plethora of musicians, including Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Wheeler, Kenny Barron, Joey DeFrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Aoife O'Donovan, Jeremy Pelt, Dave Douglas, Mick Barr, Louie Bellson, Kenny Washington, Michael Buble, Barry Altschul, Mark Helias, Warren Wolf, Mary Halvorson, John Taylor, Adam Nussbaum, Lou Reed, James Carter, Nicholas Payton, Craig Taborn, Eugene Chadbourne, TS Monk, Paul Dunmall and John Edwards, among many others.
Jon, who won the Downbeat Magazine Rising Star Alto Saxophonist award in 2011, is currently a member of many forward-thinking improvisatory groups in and around New York City, and tours with these groups internationally. They include Mostly Other People do the Killing, the Mary Halvorson Quintet and Septet, the Dave Douglas Quintet, Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys, Bryan and the Haggards and Jon Lundbom's Big Five Chord. Jon also leads several of his own groups, including the jazz quintet Outright!, The Jon Irabagon Trio (featuring Barry Altschul and Mark Helias), and I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues (currently a trio with Mike Pride and guitar phenom Mick Barr).
Jon launched Irabbagast Records in November 2012 to solidify a place to release original and challenging material. The label released two records simultaneously-- "Outright! Unhinged" and "I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze". Jon can be found online at jonirabagon.com, and steady gig updates can be found by following @JonIrabagon on Twitter.