Tony Bradan

Antonio Alfredo Bradanovich, teacher, guitarist, arranger (born 6 October 1913 in Ladner, BC; date of death unknown). Tony Bradan was a Yugoslavian Canadian guitarist who played with Mart Kenney's Western Gentlemen and several CBC Radio orchestras. He also had a distinguished and influential career as a guitar teacher and has been called “the father of modern guitar styles in Canada.” His pupils included Ed Bickert, Rob Piltch and Kim Mitchell.

Tony Bradan 1968

Early Years and Education

Tony Bradan studied in Vancouver with Roy Barry (guitar) and Pasquale Fiore (harmony, counterpoint, and composition) and in Toronto with John Weinzweig (harmony).

Playing Career

He began his career at 14 in Percy Smith’s dance orchestra and was a member, in Vancouver and Toronto, of Mart Kenney's Western Gentlemen (1937–42). During the Second World War, he served as music director in Europe of the Army Show and also was an arranger for the Canadian orchestra of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. After the war he played in CBC Radio orchestras under Lucio Agostini, Bert Niosi, Ivan Romanoff, Geoffrey Waddington and others.

Bradan's wife, the singer Judy Richards (born 15 October 1922 in Calgary), appeared with Kenney (1940–43)and later with the Toronto dance bands of Frank Bogart, Trump Davidson, Ellis McLintock and others, before retiring in the 1950s.

Teaching Career

Bradan taught privately in Toronto for over 30 years; he has been described as “the father of modern guitar styles in Canada” (Danny Marks, Toronto Blues Society Newsletter, Feb 1989). His pupils include Neville Barnes, Gary Benson, Ed Bickert, Art DeVilliers, Bobby Edwards, Kenny Gill, Peter Harris, Andy Krehm, Lorne Lofsky, Kim Mitchell, Rob Piltch and Bob McAlpine. Edwards carried on the Bradan teaching methodology after Bradan's retirement in 1979.