Colin Stetson

Colin Stetson


Imagine somehow the ghost of Rahsaan Roland Kirk watching over Steve Reich at his most relentless, Oval at his most tonally beautiful and Autechre at their heaviest, but all in the form of one man breathing fiercely, spectacularly through a bass clarinet or bass saxophone, in a dark, wooden room.


Colin Stetson, the revered brass and woodwind player who has played and recorded with such greats as Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, TV on The Radio, Antibalas, Anthony Braxton, Medeski, Martin and Wood and Burning Spear has announced the forthcoming release of his latest solo full length album on Aagoo Records. Stetson’s thoughtcrafty experiments in sound on the album, titled New History Warfare: Volume 1 push the boundaries of genres and the sounds that can be expected from his vast assortment of instruments, including saxophones, clarinet, flute and French horn.

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Woodwind player Colin Stetson can play powerfully while circularly breathing for long periods, can draw multiphonics out of a sax with great skill, and can command an audience's attention with his focus and melodic improvisations. Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI, where he became proficient on assorted saxophones, clarinet, and flute. He earned a degree in music from his hometown school the University of Michigan in 1997, studying with Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Sinta, and Christopher Creviston; afterward, he went on to study with Steve Adams and Henry Threadgill as well. While still in college, he co-founded Transmission (which later became Transmission Trio), and in 1998 he played with progressive Detroit-area jazz-rockers Larval on their Knitting Factory album Larval 2. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area that summer along with the rest of Transmission, which released its first album in 1999. Stetson also branched out to play live with the likes of Fred Frith, Peter Kowald, Ned Rothenberg, and Kenny Wollesen, and kept up his Detroit/Ann Arbor connections as well. Before moving west, he had played on his friend Recloose's debut EP for Planet E, and their collaborations continued over the years, culminating in the DJ's acclaimed full-length Cardiology in 2002. Also that year, Tom Waits tapped Stetson for reed work on his Alice and Blood Money albums, which led to significant exposure and a live performance on David Letterman. His most recent appearance with Waits has been on the soundtrack to the animated feature Shrek 2. Stetson had a limited edition 3" CD release of a 2002 performance at the Artship in Oakland, and his full-length debut as a leader came in the summer of 2003 with the quintet recording Slow Descent. Since relocating to NYC in 2004, Stetson is performing regularly with the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Jeremiah Lockwood's Sway Machinery, Zemog El Gallo Bueno, and the ever present Transmission as well as performances with Sinead O'Connor, Burning Spear and Medeski, Martin, and Wood and Anthony Braxton. For more information.

-Steve Huey, All Music Guide (



Written By: Colin Stetson




Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol.1-Aagoo(2008)
TOM WAITS: Orphans-Anti(2007)
ARCADE FIRE: Neon Bible-Merge(2007)
TV ON THE RADIO: Return to Cookie Mountail(2006)

Zemog El Gallo Bueno (2006) Sax (alto, tenor, bari) clarinet, bass clarinet, flute - AAGOO

Transmission Hollow Sea E.P. (2005) Tenor Sax - BELLOWHEAD

Volney Litmus (2005) Sax (alto) clarinet - VEE RON RECORDS

Jeremiah Lockwood American Primitive (2005) Sax (Baritone, Soprano, alto) Bass Clarinet - VEE RON RECORDS

Box Car Saints Last Things (2004) Sax (alto, tenor) clarinet, bass clarinet - GRAND MAL RECORDS

Shrek 2 Original Movie Soundtrack (2004) Clarinet

Tom Waits Alice (2002) Clarinet (Bass), Saxophone, Sax (Baritone) ANTI

Tom Waits Blood Money (2002) Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass), Horn (Baritone), Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor) ANTI

Beulah Yoko (2003) Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Baritone - VELOCETTE RECORDS

Michael Kowalski Gringo Blaster (1994) Sax (Soprano) EQUILIBRIUM

Larval 2 (1998) Saxophone, Group Member KNITTING FACTORY

People's Bizarre Peoples Bizarre (2002) Clarinet, Saxophone - BELLOWHEAD

Recloose So This is the Dining Room (1998) Flute, Saxophone - PLANET E

Recloose Cardiology (2002) Saxophone - PLANET E

Recloose Spelunking (2000) Soprano Saxophone - PLANET E

Moe! Staiano's Moe!kestra! Two Forms of Multitudes Conducted (2003) Saxophone - PAX RECORDINGS

Transmission Trio Tiny Beast (2002) Clarinet, Saxophone,

Transmission Transmission (1999) Saxophone,

Various Artists This is Home Entertainment Vo1 (1997) Flute

Set List

All Originals. 45 - 50 minutes Long.