Braxton, Anthony (1945--) By Garlitz, Dustin
Anthony Braxton, born 4 June 1945 in Chicago, Illinois, is an avant-garde jazz multi-instrumentalist and composer who performs and records primarily on saxophones. An active musician since the 1960s, Braxton was an early member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians)—a Chicago-founded cooperative of African American avant-garde jazz musicians and composers. Braxton is a Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, where he has taught since 1990. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994 and was named a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2013. His compositions have been performed by large-scale orchestras at Lincoln Centre in New York City, as well as other renowned venues that have often been reserved for classical music.
Braxton’s notable early albums include Three Compositions of New Jazz (1968), released on the Chicago-based Delmark record label that released the first albums of many AACM members in the mid—to late 1960s. Braxton’s double album For Alto, a solo recording, was released in 1970. Braxton has performed on many saxophones throughout his career, most notably the alto saxophone, but later soprano, sopranino, C-melody, F mezzo-soprano, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxophones. He has also performed on flute, the E-flat, B-flat, and contrabass clarinets, and the piano.