Tony Lustig is a dynamic saxophonist hailing from Detroit, Michigan – arguably the most soulful city in the world. As a young child, Tony was introduced to the world of music through the violin. Every week he would travel to his teacher’s home eager to learn; he was completely captivated by the sounds. His teacher’s name was Rona Hall, a wonderful, talented woman who changed the course of his life forever. He was taught very early on to learn music mostly by ear. It was stressed as an important skill that would benefit for years to come. Ms. Hall lit a fire in Tony’s heart so massive and inextinguishable he knew he had to devote his life to learning and sharing as much music as possible. As for the saxophone – learning that was almost by accident.
Being as there wasn’t a strings program in his school Tony needed to find an alternate means of expression. His parents offered an alto saxophone left in a dusty corner, abandoned by his older sister. As soon as the horn met his lips he felt that was it – that is what he had been looking for. Tony quickly became attached to the saxophone and went on a search for every saxophone record he could find. In that search he found Gerry Mulligan. His sweet, lush sound lured him in instantly. After spending countless hours listening to Mulligan’s records Tony made the transition from alto saxophone to baritone saxophone. He spent his childhood years playing around Detroit where he had the chance to meet and play with such Detroit greats as Marcus Belgrave and Rodney Whitaker. These experiences would lead Tony to further his quest for musical knowledge at both Michigan State University (for his undergraduate degree) and the prestigious Juilliard School (for his masters degree).
At the age of 26 Tony has performed with some of the biggest names in the country. He has appeared with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Christian McBride Big Band, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Patti Austin Big Band, Count Basie Orchestra, Cab Calloway Orchestra, and the Jon Hendricks Octet, amongst others. Tony is a fiery character who attacks his music fiercely and passionately. He plays music with one ideal, above all else, in mind – improve peoples’ lives through music. Tony writes with the intention of stirring the soul. His melodies are memorable and his sound is moving. He strives to inspire all who listen and bring a smile to everyone he meets. Tony’s debut album “Taking Flight” is to be released in early 2013.
Just heard Tony play with Tommy Igoe. Wow.