Henry Threadgill

Henry Threadgill

For over forty years, Henry Threadgill has been celebrated as one of the most forward-thinking composers and multi-instrumentalists in American music. The New York Times has called him “perhaps the most important jazz composer of his generation.” Born in 1944 in Chicago, Threadgill is an early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an influential organization dedicated to the performance of original music by its members. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he majored in composition along with piano and flute. 2016 was a banner year for Threadgill: his work “In for a Penny, In for a Pound” was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalist Association, and his recording “Old Locks and Irregular Verbs” was voted the number one album of the year in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Threadgill has also been a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Award in 2009, Doris Duke Impact Award in 2015, and United States Artists Fellow in 2008. Down Beat Magazine’s International Jazz Critics Poll has distinguished him with its Best Composer Awards in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1995 and The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with its Composer of the Year Award in 2002. His orchestral pieces Run Silent, Run Deep, Run Loud, Run High (1987, conducted by Hale Smith) and Mix for Orchestra (1993, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies) received their premieres at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has also received commissions from Mordine & Co. Dance Theater (1971, 1989), Carnegie Hall for his Quintets for Strings and Woodwinds (1983, 1985), the New York Shakespeare Festival (1985), Bang On A Can All-Stars (1995), Miller Theatre at Columbia University (2003), Talujon Percussion Ensemble (2008), Junge Philharmonic Salzburg Orchestra for Fly Fliegen Volar, which premiered at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival (2007), the Biennale di Venezia (2004), Roulette (2009), and American Composers Orchestra (2011). He has been composer in residence at UC Berkeley and Atlantic Center of the Arts. Threadgill has led numerous groups, including Air, the Sextett, Very Very Circus, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Make a Move, and his current group, Zooid. He has released thirty critically acclaimed albums as a leader with various record labels including Arista Novus, Axiom, Black Saint, Sony/Columbia and Pi Recordings.