About Anton

…accessible and groovy, yet deep and consistently surprising.— Jazz at Lincoln Center

You'd expect a brainiac like Schwartz to make brainy jazz, and indeed he does. What surprises are the upbeat vibe, strong melodies, and unflagging sense of swing that he brings to this music.— Ed Kopp, JAZZIZ Magazine

You play the tenor sax like it's meant to be played!— Illinois Jacquet

Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz is a guiding light of both the Bay Area and national jazz scenes.— SFJAZZ

Good saxophone players can make their instrument
talk to you. Anton goes a step farther... his music
communicates with your soul.— Ray Redmond, Jazz USA

Schwartz plays with an appealing grace and sophistication
that allows him to say very much with very little.— Marc Greilsamer, Jazz Editor, Amazon.com

Schwartz has a classic clear-throated tenor sound and kicks like a mule. His zeal to communicate is fervent yet sophisticated.— Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times

“What I require for music to really captivate me,” Anton says, “is groove and intellect working in tandem. Music that gets into your bones, into your head and into your heart.”

In 1995, Anton Schwartz walked away from a high-powered academic career in Artificial Intelligence to play music full-time. Anton quickly gained an enthusiastic following as fans responded to what the San Francisco Chronicle called his “warm, generous tone, impeccably developed solos and infectious performance energy.” In the years since, Anton has won over listeners and critics at high-profile jazz venues across the country, including the Blue Note in New York, Yoshi’s in Oakland and San Francisco, Washington D.C.’s Blues Alley and the Monterey Jazz Festival. He recently performed an hourlong concert of unaccompanied saxophone at the San Francisco Jazz Festival (2013) and at Boston Symphony Hall as a featured soloist with the Boston Pops (2014).

Anton’s five CDs have earned sterling reviews and strong airplay. Radiant Blue landed at number four on the American jazz radio charts; his 2014 release, Flash Mob, hit number six and earned a coveted four star review in DownBeat Magazine.

Billboard Magazine wrote of his 2000 release, The Slow Lane, “Schwartz savors the implications of each note, allowing the listener to delight in the endless melodies created by his stirring improvisations.” Anton’s first CD, When Music Calls (1998), inspired the San Francisco Bay Guardian to report, “Anton Schwartz has everything you want to hear in a modern jazz saxophonist–an appealing, consistent tone, an abundance of ideas fueling both his compositions and his improvisations, and superb taste in musical collaborators.”

Saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet put it succinctly when he told Anton, “You play the tenor sax like it’s meant to be played.”

Anton is also in great demand as a teacher. He is a longtime faculty member of The Jazzschool and Stanford Jazz Workshop, a clinician at the Brubeck Institute, and has been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony.

“It’s especially gratifying to me to see so many people reacting so wholeheartedly to my music.” Indeed, longtime aficionados and jazz newcomers alike rave about his performances. That ability to capture hearts and minds at all ends of the jazz spectrum has made Anton an important figure in the jazz scene, today and for years to come.

Read the longer version

iTunes Store

Editors’ Review: Flash Mob - July, 2014
Official editorial review by the iTunes Store.
“… thoughtful, exceptionally detailed, and just plain fresh-sounding.” Read More

DownBeat Magazine

Artist Profile - April, 2014
“I don’t know an alternative to emphasizing melody,” Schwartz says. “The most fundamental question one can ask of any music is, ‘Why was it created?’ You can answer that by saying, ‘to break with tradition,’ ‘to reference tradition’ or ‘to show the socioeconomic hypocrisy of society’—and those are all valid answers. I’m writing for the sake of pure enjoyment and pleasure—for the listeners and the players—and that starts with melody.” Read More

L.A. Jazz Scene

CD Review: Flash Mob - March 2014
A superior tenor-saxophonist from Northern California, Anton Schwartz has his own sound and a fresh conception of forward-looking hard bop… Schwartz has created a CD worthy of the best of 1960s Blue Note… there are several songs on this set that deserve to become future standards. Read More

Earshot Jazz

Feature Article - March 2014
“The music is imbued with spontaneity, precision, and fun. Schwartz’s thick tenor tone pairs warmly with Farinacci’s dark brass. Melodic clarity trumps technical fireworks. Wide grooves set a jubilant vibe.” Read More

DownBeat Magazine

CD Review: Flash Mob - March, 2014
★★★★… Just about all of these songs have the kind of shapely themes you can imagine other players wanting to cover. Read More

Rochester City Newspaper

CD Review: Flash Mob - February 12, 2014
The most powerful aspect of Anton Schwartz’s new album, “Flash Mob,” is the manner in which it manages to evoke the greatest jazz quintets of the past while simultaneously stretching toward the future. Read More

San Jose Mercury News

Feature Article - June 13, 2013
With the Ugetsu Project, tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz turns his attention to a classic live album recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers exactly 50 years ago this weekend… Although he relocated to Seattle about three years ago, Schwartz is still a regular presence on the Bay Area scene. He tours and records with the great Ed Reed, the East Bay jazz singer who is enjoying his first brush with jazz notoriety in his 80s. Schwartz continues to teach at the Jazzschool, presents loft concerts at his pad in Oakland, and is always looking for opportunities to play. Read More

Jazz Improv Magazine

Anton Schwartz Interview - Spring, 2007
Jazz Improv Magazine interviews Anton Schwartz. Questions include:
  • How did your research and work in the area of Artificial Intelligence impact your artistic development and creativity?
  • What were some of the guiding ideas that you learned from Eddie Daniels and Warne Marsh whom you credit as being some of your influential sax teachers?
  • Talk about the relevance of developing a healthy curiosity about ideas and people, in and out of music, to bolster your artistry.
Read More

JAZZIZ Magazine

Review: Radiant Blue - January/February, 2007
…Schwartz blows with a warm, fluid tone, and great economy. From his trills on the minor-blues tune “Slightly Off Course” to the simple theme on the South African groover “Life & Times,” his decisions all sound right. He and Bernstein exhibit a special chemistry reflecting a shared musical history that dates to their high school days in New York City. Eigsti also impresses with one tumbling run after another. Read More

Jazz Times Magazine

Review: Radiant Blue - November 2006
Radiant Blue could make an excellent introduction to jazz for someone on the outside looking for a way in… It is accessible. And because tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz and his capable sidemen are deadly serious about their fun, there is enough musical substance here to make sure the jazz neophyte is exposed to the real thing… Schwartz has a classic clear-throated tenor sound and kicks like a mule. His zeal to communicate is fervent yet sophisticated. Read More

San Francisco Chronicle

Feature story: “Anton Catches On” - Oct 8, 2006
Scoring a top 10 hit on the jazz charts isn’t quite the same thing as ruling the pop charts. MTV doesn’t call, and you can walk down most streets unmolested by fans. But for Oakland tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz, whose [CD] “Radiant Blue,” is cresting near the top of the JazzWeek listings, the ranking is an impressive feat by a musician who is running his own show, from booking his own gigs to overseeing the CD’s design and production. Read More


Radio Chart: Radiant Blue - October 2, 2006
Anton Schwartz’s “Radiant Blue” CD rides the Top 10 in an extended run on the American Jazz Radio Chart. Read More


Cover Story: Artist Q&A - September 25, 2006
It’s been six years since Bay Area saxophonist Anton Schwartz released an album… so JazzWeek decided to check in with him as his new CD races up the charts. Read More

All About Jazz

Review: The Slow Lane - March 1, 2000
The Harvard and Stanford University graduate exhibits style, wit and a predilection for sublime, thoughtful phrasing amid a slightly hard edge, which counters any semblance of saccharine or smooth jazz ideologies.… The beauty of it resides within Schwartz’ distinctly personalized faculties and understanding of where to go with a tune as a soloist and leader. Schwartz’ seemingly uncanny abilities and sensibilities enable him to render even the quietest or calmest of tunes with a meticulous and often understated sense of urgency. Needless to state, Anton Schwartz is a young man with a horn who delivers the goods in artful and persuasive fashion! Read More