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Finding aid prepared by MM, 2008
© 2008 University of Chicago Library
The Anthony Braxton Collection was processed and preserved as part of the "Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project," funded with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Braxton, Anthony. Collection
1 linear foot (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
Anthony Braxton, music professor, composer, and jazz musician. The Anthony Braxton Collection contains concert and lecture ephemera as well as a score titled L/C-J-637 (for orchestra).
The collection is open for research.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Braxton, Anthony. Collection [Box#, Folder#], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Anthony Braxton was born in 1945 and grew up on Chicago’s South Side. Braxton began his saxophone studies under Jack Gell, who also taught Henry Threadgill. In 1963, Braxton attended Wilson Junior College, now Kennedy-King, in Chicago. A fertile ground for jazz experimentation, Wilson Junior College offered Braxton new musical outlets.
In 1963, Braxton joined the army and was stationed with the Fifth Army Band in the northern suburbs of Chicago, which allowed him to continue his music studies in the city. In 1965, he went to South Korea and played with the Eighth Army Band all the while keeping up with the recordings of free jazz pioneers Albert Ayler and John Coltrane.
After returning to Chicago in 1966, Braxton sought out and joined the newly-formed Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He formed his own quartets and trios with musicians such as Leroy Jenkins, Thurman Barker, Charles Clark, Kalaparush, and Leo Smith while also playing in groups led by AACM members like Ajaramu, Amina Myers, and Muhal Richard Abrams. Although greatly influenced by John Coltrane, Braxton quickly developed his own voice.
In June 1969, Braxton accepted an invitation from the BYG label to play in Paris. In Paris, Braxton played with “The Art Ensemble of Chicago,” comprised of Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Bowie, Malachi Favors, and Lester Bowie and also recorded with European based musicians like Gunther Hampel and Jacques Coursil. Braxton formed his own group sometimes called the “Anthony Braxton Quartet” or the “Creative Construction Company.” He returned to Chicago in 1970. Throughout much of the early 1970s, Braxton played in New York and the Midwest, touring with Chick Corea’s trio and Musica Elettronica Viva.
In 1994, Braxton was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for his outstanding and original contributions to jazz. Braxton founded the Tri-Centric Foundation, a New York based not-for-profit Corporation that includes an ensemble of musicians, vocalists, and computer-graphic video artists all of whom aid in the performances of Braxton’s compositions.
Braxton is currently a tenured professor at Wesleyan University.
The Anthony Braxton Collection contains concert and lecture ephemera as well as a score titled L/C-J-637 (for orchestra). The concert ephemera are from performances given at Getz Theatre in Chicago and the lecture ephemera are from lectures given at Southend Musicworks located in Chicago. There are also photocopied music scores of Braxton.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Chicago Jazz Archive
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
University of Chicago. Chicago Jazz Archive
Concert Ephemera, 1992
Lecture Ephemera, 1992
Orchestral Score, L/C-J-637, 1973
Photocopied Scores, 1992