Anthony Braxton (b. June 4, 1945) has boldly redefined the boundaries of American music for more than 40 years. Drawing on such lifelong influences as jazz saxophonists Warne Marsh and Albert Ayler, innovative American composers John Cage and Charles Ives and pioneering European Avant-Garde figures Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis, he created a unique musical system, with its own classifications and graphics-based language, that embraces a variety of traditions and genres while defying categorization of its own.
His multi-faceted career includes hundreds of recordings, performances all over the world with fellow legends and younger musicians alike, an influential legacy as an educator and author of scholarly writings, and an ardent international fan base that passionately supports and documents it all. From his early work as a pioneering solo performer in the late 1960’s through his eclectic experiments on Arista Records in the 1970’s, his landmark quartet of the 1980’s, and more recent endeavors, such as his cycle of Trillium operas, a piece for 100 tubas and the day-long, installation-based Sonic Genome Project, his vast body of work is unparalleled.
Critics have called him “an obvious genius” (Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com), “an unprecedented figure in the music” (Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia), “quite possibly the most prolific musician of our age” (David R. Adler, JazzTimes) and “a brilliant musician who is constantly pushing himself and the musicians with whom he surrounds himself” (Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise). Time Out New York’s Hank Shteamer adds, “Even if you ignore his purely conceptual triumphs, Braxton has amassed one of the meatiest and most varied bodies of work in experimental music.”
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