Artist's BiographyWhile in elementary school, Antonio Hart attended a concert with his mother where he heard the alto saxophone for the first time. Immediately, he expressed an interest in learning to play. When he reached junior high, Antonio joined the band and began learning the intricacies of the alto saxophone. Unfortunately, after two years, music programs were eliminated from the public schools. Antonio learned of a new school that offered fine arts as well as academics as an integral part of the curriculum, Baltimore School of the Arts (BSA). Unlike most of the students who were considering the school, he did not have the advantage of private lessons. However, Antonio auditioned and was accepted. At BSA, Antonio found the academics demanding and the music program intense. Nevertheless, he flourished.
Upon graduation from high school, Hart continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Under the guidance of Bill Pierce, Andy McGhee and Joe Viola, Hart shaped his talents to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. It was also at Berklee that Hart made lasting friendships that would play an important role in his transition from student to working musician.
After earning a degree in Music Education from Berklee, Hart moved to New York City. Friend and classmate, Roy Hargrove, invited Hart ot join his group, the Roy Hargrove Quintet. Hart toured the world with Hargrove and received rave reviews. Incredibly, while touring with Hargrove, he earned his masters degree in performance and composition at Queens College under the tutelage of Jimmy Heath.
After touring with Hargrove, Hart began receiving requests to perform and record with such jazz greats as Slide Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie's Alumni All-Stars, Nancy Wilson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Nat Adderley. He also founded his own group, the Antonio Hart Quintet. In 1991, he released his first CD, For The First Time (RCA Novous) and featured his good friend, Roy Hargrove. Hart received high praise for this release which led to subsequent CDs: Don't You Know I Care (RCA Novous), For Cannonball and Woody (RCA Novous), It's All Good (RCA), Here I Stand (Impulse), and his most recent release, Ama Tu Sonrisa (ENJA Records).