MacArthur Fellows Program

Anthony Braxton

Jazz Composer and Performer | Class of 1994

Jazz Composer and Performer
Middletown, Connecticut
49 at time of award
Published July 1, 1994

About Anthony's Work

Anthony Braxton is an innovative musician and composer who has been at the forefront of improvised music for more than thirty-five years.

In his compositions, Braxton draws on a wide array of musical traditions, most notably American jazz and European contemporary classical music.  He has performed in the United States and Europe with traditional jazz musicians, free-jazz players of all types, electronic and contemporary classical composers, and African and South Indian classical musicians, and may be heard on more than 100 recordings.  A performer on alto saxophone and clarinet, Braxton and his quartet are highly respected as a premier improvisatory performing ensemble.  A mentor to many of today’s leading free-jazz performers, Braxton was an influential early member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a Chicago musicians’ cooperative.


He was a professor of music at Mills College (1985-1990) prior to joining the faculty of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1990 as a professor of African-American music.  Braxton is also founder and artistic director of the Tri-Centric Foundation, an ensemble that stages regular performances of Braxton's musical, multimedia, and interdisciplinary works in New York City.

Braxton attended Roosevelt University in Chicago and the Chicago Musical College.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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