Artist Profile Performances

Blasting Opera Forward: Braxton in New York Previewed

Anthony Braxton
Cover of Anthony Braxton

From The New York Review of Books:

Though Anthony Braxton’s contributions to jazz have been substantial, he has spent the last three decades on the genre’s fringes. A MacArthur Award-winning saxophonist, composer, and teacher, Braxton has released a number of acclaimed works, including For Alto, the first album for unaccompanied solo saxophone ever recorded, and has for years been a leading proponent of merging avant-garde jazz with contemporary art music. Yet when I spoke to him in early April, Braxton told me he was surprised to be included on the list of “Jazz Masters” honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, in January. And, once again, he was already looking ahead: more eager to talk about Richard Wagner and Karlheinz Stockhausen, influences on his own opera-cycle in progress, Trillium. The latest work in what he calls his “opera complex,” Trillium J (The Non-Unconfessionables), will have its premiere this month at Roulette in Brooklyn, from April 17 to April 19. The weekend before, Braxton will also play saxophone in performances at the same venue with a chamber orchestra and with a nonet that includes Ingrid Laubrock, Nate Wooley, and Mary Halvorson.