Society Situation Dance Band

Henry Threadgill

“Imaginative Jazz”

Born February 15, 1944 in Chicago, Henry Threadgill is a saxophonist, flutist and composer who is an important figure in avant-garde jazz.

During his early career in the mid-1960s he worked under free jazz artist and bandleader Muhal Richard Abrams in Chicago as a member of the AACM.

Starting in music as a drummer in his high-school marching band he went on to play baritone saxophone and a number of woodwind instruments before settled on alto saxophone and flute as his principle instruments.

After returning from Vietnam in 1969 he formed a trio with bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall which eventually became the Avant-garde jazz band “Air”.

Over the years his assemblies have also included drummers Reggie Nicholson, John Betsch, and Newman Baker; cellist Diedre Murray; trumpeters Rasul Siddik and Ted Daniels; trombonists Ray Anderson, Frank Lacy, Bill Lowe and Craig Harris; and cornetist Olu Dara.

As a composer Threadgill is known well for incorporating different musical genres and odd instrumentation such as a rhythm section utilizing both cello and double bass supported by two drummers.

In the early 1980s he formed the “Henry Threadgill Sextet” his first popular large assembly as a leader

His other assemblies would included the awesome twenty-piece “Society Situation Dance Band” and a seven-piece group called “Very Very Circus”.

For his creative musical output Henry Threadgill is considered one of today’s most imaginative jazz composers.

Henry Threadgill leads his “Society Situation Dance Band” at Jazz Festival Hamburg in the 1980s.


Henry Threadgill, conductor
John Stubblefield, tenor & soprano sax
Booker T. Williams, tenor sax
Ted Daniel, trumpet
E. J. Allen, trumpet
Craig Harris, trombone
Conrad Herwig, trombone
Leroy Jenkins, violin
Charles Burnham, violin
Terry Jenoure, violin
Bob Stewart, tuba
Diedre Murray, cello
Akua Turre Dixon, cello
Brandon Ross, guitar
Donald Nicksel, bass
Reggie Nicholson, drums
Bobby Sanabria, percussion
Drew Richards, vocal
Sherry Scott, vocal