Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944) is an American composer, saxophonist and flautist. He came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles rooted in jazz but with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating other genres of music. 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.
He was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his album In for a Penny, In for a Pound, which premiered at Roulette Intermedium on December 4, 2014
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 Experimental Band,a precursor to the AACM in his hometown of Chicago, and worked under the guidance of Muhal Richard Abrams, before leaving to tour with a gospelband. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, playing with a rock band in Vietnam during the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968. He was discharged in 1969.
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