Anthony Braxton (born June 4, 1945) is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist who is known in the genre of free jazz.
Since the 1960s, he has released more than 100 albums. He plays many types of saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, contrabass, sopranino, C-melody, mezzo-soprano) and clarinet (E-flat, B-flat, contrabass), in addition to flute, alto flute, and piano.
Braxton studied philosophy at Roosevelt University. He taught at Mills College in the 1980s, and was Professor of Music at Wesleyan University from the 1990s until his retirement at the end of 2013. He taught music composition and music history, with a concentration on the avant-garde, as well as leading ensembles in performances of his compositions. In 1994, he was given a genius grant by the MacArthur Foundation. In 2013, he was named a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.
Early in his career, Braxton led a trio with violinist Leroy Jenkins and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and was involved with The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the “AACM”, founded in Chicago, Braxton’s birthplace.