Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of The Art Ensemble of Chicago
Multi-instrumentalist Roscoe Mitchell received his most significant musical inspiration when he heard saxophonist Albert Ayler while on tour in Europe with a military band. After returning to civilian life, he worked for a time with Henry Threadgill and Muhal Richard Abrams' The Experimental Band, as well as forming various projects of his own.
It was in 1969, however, when he founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, that he found his most enduring home. One of most radical and influential jazz acts of the 1970's, the Art Ensemble has continued to be active decades after its inception. Although it has been the primary vehicle for his musical output, Roscoe has kept active with projects outside of the Ensemble -- establishing the Creative Arts Collective in 1974, performing with his Sound Ensemble in the 80's, and branching out into classical composition in the 1990s.
Art Ensemble of Chicago
The Experimental Band
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