Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944) is an American composer, saxophonist, and flautist, who came to prominence in the 1970s leading jazz ensembles with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating genres other than jazz. He has performed and recorded with several ensembles: Air, Aggregation Orb, Make a Move, the seven-piece Henry Threadgill Sextett, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Very Very Circus, X-75, and Zooid.
Threadgill performed as a percussionist in his high-school marching band before taking up baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, and flute. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, majoring in piano, flute, and composition. He studied piano with Gail Quillman and composition with Stella Roberts. He was an original member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in his hometown of Chicago and worked under the guidance of Muhal Richard Abrams before leaving to tour with a gospel band.