On Thursday, February 16, 2023, our beloved Tony sang his last song on Earth. We remember him as a loving, talented husband & father, who touched many lives with his music, kindness, friendship, hugs, and playful sense of humor. Tony will be missed by so many. Survived by his wife of 43 years, Madelyn (Katy) Zownir Brazis and daughter Valerie Brazis James; sister Irene Anderson, Melody Zownir and Jim Bess, Linda and John Potts, nieces, nephews, and many special friends and musicians.
Born in Lithuania, Tony, along with his mother and siblings, immigrated to the United States, ultimately landing in Cleveland, Ohio. After learning English he became a prolific singer/songwriter and guitarist as leader of "Tony and the Bandits" and later the "Tony Brazis Group". Tony and the Bandits recorded several '45s' on Decca/Coral Records in the 1960's, including "It's a Bit of Alright", which he performed on the TV show Shindig (on YouTube). He appeared on many stages across the US including the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival and The Summer of Love music festival in Ohio with his professional singer/songwriter daughter Val James.
Tony attended John Carroll University and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning his Bachelor's in English. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the early 1970's and was Business Manager of UNM Hospital and UNM Family Practice, eventually becoming an independent insurance broker.Tony was a highly revered and accomplished performer in the Southwest, writing over 70 songs and recording 5 albums!
Tony and his family moved to Cedar Crest in the early 1980's, where he enjoyed basking in the sun on the back deck, playing guitar, singing to the sky and trees and to all who stopped by. He loved sitting in the boat and fishing on Heron lake, playing music with family and friends at holiday parties, cooking Tony's famous potatoes, watching thunderstorms over magic mountain and stargazing. He also served as President of the Sierra Vista Neighborhood Association and the Brazos Condo Association near Chama, NM.
He was preceded in death by his mom, Stella Brazis, his adoptive father, Anthony Brazis, and Brother Edward Brazis, and his mother and father in law, Josephine and Michael Zownir.
The Brazis Family would like to extend a most sincere Thank You to our supportive friends and family and to his many caregivers from UNM Hospital and UNM Family Practice, Four Hills Beehive Assisted Living, and Presbyterian Hospice.
In lieu of flowers please support children's music education through donations to the New Mexico Jazz Workshop Youth Education Program in Tony's name at www.NMJazz.org or consider planting a tree in Tony's Grove, in his honor at www.treesforachange.com. Find Tony's music on Amazon Music, YouTube, and play it loud!
A musical celebration for Tony will be held later this spring, announcements to follow.