Colin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, spent a decade in San Francisco and Brooklyn honing his formidable talents as a horn player, eventually settling in Montreal in 2007.   Over the years he has  worked extensively live and in studio with a wide range of bands and musicians including Tom Waits, Arcade  Fire,  Bon  Iver,  TV  On  The  Radio,  Feist,  Laurie  Anderson,  Lou  Reed,  Bill  Laswell,  Evan Parker,  The  Chemical  Brothers,  Animal  Collective,  Hamid  Drake,  LCD  Soundsystem,  The  National, Angelique Kidjo, Fink, and David Gilmore.   Meanwhile he has developed an utterly unique voice as a soloist,  principally  on  saxophones  and  clarinets,  his  intense  technical  prowess  matched  by  his exhilarating   and   emotionally   gripping   skills   as   a   songwriter.    Stetson’ s   astounding   physical engagement  with  his  instruments  (chiefly  bass  and  alto  saxophones)  produces  emotionally  rich  and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like. Stetson is  equally  at  home  in  the  avant  jazz  tradition  of  players  who  have  pushed  the  boundaries  of  the instrument through circular breathing, embouchure, etc. (i.e. Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson) and at the nexus  of  noise/drone/minimalist  music  that  encompasses  genres  like  dark  metal,  post-rock  and contemporary electronics (i.e. Tim Hecker, Ben Frost – both of  whom have mixed or remixed Stetson recordings).

In 2008 Aagoo records released Colin’ s debut, the first in his New History Warfare album cycle. ‘ New History  Warfare  Vol.  2:  Judges’  arrived  via  Constellation  in  Spring  2011.  The  album  met  with universal  acclaim  from  critics  across  a  spectrum  of  jazz and  indie  rock/pop  cultural  spheres: “pure revelation”  according  to  All  About  Jazz,  the  album  was  shortlisted  for  the  Polaris  Music  Prize,  and landed  on  year-end  lists  at  Pitchfork,  Tiny  Mix  Tapes,  SPIN  and  the  Village  Voice.  His  frequent appearances on stages at SXSW, All Tomorrow’ s Parties, and countless stops on the international jazz festival circuit cemented his reputation as a versatile and virtuosic player while bringing his solo work to a broad international audience.   April 2013 saw the release of ‘ New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See MoreLight via  Constellation,   completing   the   conceptual   and   narrative   arc   of   the   series   and constituting a  definitive  realization  of his unparalleled musicianship and  stunning  skill as a  composer. It has been received with exemplary recognition and was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.   April of 2015 saw the release of the first recording of Colin’ s duo project with long-time collaborator Sarah Neufeld. ‘ Never  were  the  way  she  was’  charts  an  expansive  sonic  trajectory  with  a  multiplicity  of structures and voicings that belies the fundamental economy of two acoustic instruments combining in real time. The resulting musical chronicle powerfully establishes its own spatial and temporal horizon; Stetson  and  Neufeld  offer  up  an  impressively  immersive integration  of  composition,  performance, timbre and texture. ‘ Never were the way she was’ is a sum quite definitively and thrillingly greater than its parts.

Photo: Marie Magnin

Most recently, in a departure from his cultivated solo aesthetic, came SORROW: a reimagining of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony; Stetson’s first major release as a band leader and the flagship album out on his record label, 52Hz (a collaboration with Kartel Music Group of the UK). 2017 will see the release of several new works, including an offering from EX EYE (w/ Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, and Toby Summerfield) and his latest solo album, “All This I Do For Glory”.