As a performing artist in the wonderful city of San Francisco and the Bay Area, I get the ultimate pleasure to meet and perform with many extremely talented individuals. There is one artist in particular that I would love to tell you about.
His name is Tony Bragano, and his instrument of passion is the soprano saxophone. I first saw Tony at the world- renowned Ghirardelli Square, where we share the stage in front of an international audience. I was wowed! His style of performance is expressive, passionate and quite enjoyable to experience.
Kippy Marks: Tony, please tell us about your work and achievements.
Tony Bragano: Since I’ve taken on music as a full time career, I have released 2 albums: Take It Easy and Escape. I have connected with many fans by playing all over the Bay Area.
KM: How does your work represent, or otherwise connect with, the LGBT community?
TB: Even now, in today’s world, ‘LGBT’ is somewhat of a black sheep, in that you have to stand up for uniqueness and not succumb to the judgments of others. As an artist, you have to have the same courage to deal with these circumstances. It’s the only way real art will live and survive in the world.
KM: How did you get started in your career, and who were some of the people who inspired and/or mentored you?
TB: After graduating business school in 2008 (the University of San Francisco), I decided to pursue a full-time career in music, primarily playing the soprano saxophone and smooth jazz. One of my mentors is a man known as Mr. Natural, who operates a local music school in the Haight area. He truly inspired me. I am blessed to have met many friends along the way who make a living by expressing themselves as unique individuals and artists. Their unique stories and experiences of how they continue to spread their art are always a wonderful source of inspiration to me.
KM: What are your career goals for the future?
TB: Currently I perform a lot of solo gigs in the San Francisco and Bay Area. My main focus is original songs. My goal is to be able to expand my operation into a full band and richer experience for the audience, and then to take this on tour nationally and internationally to connect with the world.
KM: What else would you like SF Bay Times readers to know about you and your work?
TB: (Tony thinks a minute, before sharing two concepts that are infused into his performances.)
Magic – The out of body experience, and the ‘being in the zone feeling’ you get when you’re in a state of “flow.” It’s as if the saxophone is playing you, as opposed to you playing it. There is a direct link to the imagination and not thinking; it is subconscious. This is where Magic happens, and you accomplish what you thought was impossible.
Fruits of Labor – When you want to get to a certain playing ability (having more control over the instrument), you work hours and hours to develop this. And then finally one day it happens. You have developed more strength and control over the instrument and she then takes you to another world. Being able to jump into these zones is what fulfills me and is why I play the saxophone.
Tony will be performing at the Gems of the Bay concert series at Martuni’s on April 17 from 7-8:30 pm. Tickets are $10 www.brownpapertickets.com/event/582820
To find out more about Tony Bragano, please visit www.tonybragano.com and www.facebook.com/tonybragano. To listen to Tony’s music, check out www.cdbaby.com/Artist/TonyBragano, www.jango.com/music/Tony+Bragano and itunes.apple.com/us/album/take-it-easy/id525261004
Violinist Kippy Marks entertains audiences worldwide with his inspirational compositions and lively performances that draw from classical, jazz, blues and dance. www.kippy marks.us