Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
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Ornette Coleman

1930 - 2015

Origin: United States

Main instrument: Saxophone

Genres: Avant-garde, Jazz

Free-jazz pioneer, legendary saxophonist and revolutionary jazzman Ornette Coleman passed away on June 11, 2015 after a career that spanned over half a century. Born in Texas on March 30, 1930, the elemental musician and composer made his presence felt in the late ’50s when he arrived to shake up the New York jazz scene, daring to reject all musical convention and create a completely new system of composition prioritizing complete melodic freedom. His debut album, Something Else (1958), established the foundations of the free jazz movement and opened up a new chapter in music history. In the decades that followed, Coleman ceaselessly and resolutely pushed the boundaries of his art and musical exploration, releasing over 40 albums and performing all over the world, including his 3 unforgettable concerts at the Festival. In recognition of the value and importance of his vast œuvre, the Festival presented him with the Miles Davis Award in 2009.



  • Ornette Coleman Press Conference
  • Ornette Coleman (1988) - Médiathèque Jazz

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