Ian Wardenski began his musical studies at age 15 under the guidance of John Lahovski, Peter Sittler and Frank DiBussolo. During this time Wardenski attended the Creative Music Institute in Emmaus, Pa., where he studied music theory, composition and improvisation. He also participated in various ensembles, which performed throughout the Pennsylvania Tri-State Area.
Wardenski graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Calif., with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. While there he studied music theory/musicianship under Denis Moreen and Michael Schmitz, and classical guitar under Richard Patterson and David Dueñas. He performed in a number of chamber and jazz ensembles which appeared throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Wardenski also gave numerous solo recitals throughout Northern California.
In fall 2004, Wardenski received a Master of Music in Music Theory from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. While there he studied music theory/musicianship under Robert Shankovich, and classical guitar under Thomas Kikta and Aaron Shearer, author of the “Learning the Classic Guitar” series. Wardenski completed his Ph.D. in Music Theory at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he studied music theory/musicianship under Steven Strunk, author of “Harmony” (New Grove Dictionary of Jazz), “Linear Intervallic Patterns in Jazz Repertory” and “Harmony of Early Bop: A Layered Approach.” In addition to his work with Strunk, Wardenski studied music theory with Paul Taylor and Andrew Simpson, and classical guitar with Richard Miller.
Wardenski believes strongly in a close relationship between scholarship and performance, and promotes this relationship in his classes. This passion for research and performance can be seen in his graduate thesis, “Engaging the Musical Mind: Promoting the Value of Music Theory and Analysis Toward Authentic Interpretation and Performance of Selected Works of Francisco Tarrega,” as well as in his dissertation, “Harmonic and Phrase Rhythm Analysis of the Core Dance Movements from the Four Lute Suites of J.S. Bach.” Further, Wardenski brings his enthusiasm of scholarship and performance to the concert stage. He has given lecture recitals throughout the United Sates as well as Europe. Additionally, Wardenski has shared the stage with many jazz greats including Ray Ascione, Jerry Ascione, Marty Knepp, Jason Gano, Tom Pitta and Frank Russo. He recently formed the Ian Wardenski Quintet – an innovative ensemble that combines the esthetics of a chamber group with the freedom and improvisation of a small jazz combo.
Wardenski is chair of Performing Arts, and is an associate professor of Music at Anne Arundel Community College. He teaches courses in music theory, sight singing and ear training, jazz harmony, jazz history and guitar. He is also the music director for the AACC Small Jazz Combo, as well as the AACC World Class Jazz series. Wardenski resides in Annapolis with his wife, soprano Tamara Tucker.
Visit Wardenski's website: ianwardenski.com.