Perpetually inquisitive by nature, guitarist Mary Halvorson went to Wesleyan University to become a biologist. Then she sat in on a music class taught by Anthony Braxton, a titanic figure in the avant-garde jazz realm.
“I really fell in love with music,” she recalled by phone from her New York City home. “He helped me discover how large the musical world is, that you don’t have to follow a particular path. [Braxton] really emphasized finding my own thing, so I valued it more. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be a musician without him.”