Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
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Steve Coleman and Five Elements

1956 -

Origin: United States

Main instrument: Saxophone

Genre: Jazz

American alto saxophonist alto Steve Coleman is considered one of the most influential musicians of his generation. A Chicago native, he started playing the violin at age 13 before falling in love with alto saxophone. He took an interest in James Brown and Maceo Parker before falling for his father’s favourite, Charlie Parker. In 1981, he founded the group Steve Coleman and Five Elements, still a going concern, recording 19 of his 27 albums with them, while leading three other groups: Metrics, Mystic Rhythm Society and Council of Balance. In the mid-’80s, he co-founded the M-Base movement, a way of thinking about creating music. Coleman creates computer software programs to develop improvisations and rhythms, studies the flight patterns of bees, Egyptology, symbolism, mathematics, draws inspiration from philosophers and yogis has traveled to Ghana, Cuba, Senegal, Egypt and India to broaden and deepen his understanding of the world and regenerate his music. Consistently refusing labels including “jazz,” Coleman prefers the term “creative spontaneous composition”; his work in metrics, his integration of funk and hip-hop, and his incredible artistic and spiritual openness have made him an exceptional and universally respected musician.


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