Pharoah Sanders

Pharoah Sanders began his career in New York in the early sixties, working with Charles Moffett, Don Cherry, and Sun Ra. Sanders became a member of the last Coltrane band, liberating from the saxophone not only the kinds of sounds fundamental to the jazz tradition, but producing timbres and voices from the traditions of African and Third World music. When Coltrane died in 1967, Sanders began leading groups that reflected what he and Coltrane had wanted to do, pushing the limits of what was then imagined as the jazz sound. Sanders drew from the pentatonic underpinnings common to African and Asian music to provide chant materials with pulsive rhythms. The fire of the blues that Sanders combined with the passion of the Afro-American church gave his music the intensity long referred to as "sanctified" by fellow musicians. In concert and on his numerous recordings, Sanders has lifted the hearts of his listeners in the way great gospel singers are famous for. A Grammy Award winner, Sanders has toured extensively throughout Europe, South America and West Africa. He has collaborated with Alonzo King on the music for several ballets, beginning in 1994 with Ocean. He also created music for Radius of Convergence (2008), The Steady Articulation of Perseverance (2008), Migration (2006), Before the Blues (2004), Road (2002), and Three Stops on the Way Home (1997). He has performed live with the company at festivals such as Stern Grove in San Francisco and Movimentos in Wolfsburg, Germany, as well in theaters in Seattle, Minneapolis, New York City, Jacksonville, and Austin.

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