Born into a musical family, Greg Tardy began his musical career studying
classical clarinet. Though he originally prepared himself for a symphony career, he soon
was asked to fill in on saxophone with various ensembles. Although he never practiced the
saxophone seriously, Tardy began getting calls to play local funk gigs in the Milwaukee
area. At the prodding of his older brother, he finally explored the music of John Coltrane
and determined that he would be a jazz musician.
Tardy's passion for the saxophone took over his studies and soon his clarinet was
gathering dust. He moved to St. Louis, and after a year of performing on the jazz and blues
scene, he decided to move back to his birthplace, New Orleans, in order to focus even more
on his jazz studies. In 1992, Tardy recorded his first solo project, Crazy Love.
That was also the year that he was picked up by Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, a relationship
that lasted several years. During his time with the legendary Elvin Jones, Tardy felt that
it was finally time to move to the Big Apple. In New York, he went on to perform and record
with an extremely large array of prominent artists, including Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas,
Wynton Marsalis, Jay McShann, Steve Coleman, Betty Carter, James Moody, Bill Frisell,
Rashied Ali, John Patitucci, and many more. He has also performed and/or recorded alongside
many other notable saxophonists, such as Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dewey
Redman, and Ravi Coltrane. In more recent years, Mr. Tardy has gone full circle, bringing
his clarinet out of retirement and using it on recordings with Tom Harrell, Ohad Talmor and
Steve Swallow, Stefan Harris, and Andrew Hill.