Colin Stetson

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Colin Stetson
Colin Stetson 05N1467.jpg
Colin Stetson at the mœrs festival in 2010.
Background information
Born Ann Arbor, Michigan
Genres jazz, experimental, indie rock
Instruments bass saxophone
Labels Constellation Records
Associated acts Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, Bon Iver

Colin Stetson, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and currently based in Montreal, Quebec, is a saxophonist and multireedist, and touring member of Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre and Bon Iver. In addition to saxophone, he plays clarinet, bass clarinet, french horn, flute, and cornet.


Stetson attended the University of Michigan School of Music, where he joined Transmission Trio. He also played with the groups Boostamonte and the People's Bizarre.[1]

Stetson has performed and recorded with dozens of artists, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Bon Iver, My Brightest Diamond, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinéad O'Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Angélique Kidjo, Kevin Devine, Beanie Burnett, and Anthony Braxton.

His extended saxophone techniques cover advanced circular breathing, multiphonics, altissimo, microtones, (reed) vocalisations, percussive valve-work, clicking keys, and growling.[2] He may prepare his saxophone(s) with multiple microphones and contact mics.

Solo career[edit]

His first solo album, New History Warfare, Vol. 1, was released in 2008. His second album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, was released by Constellation Records in early 2011. On June 16, the album was named as a longlisted nominee (one of 40) for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize.[3] On July 6, the album was named as a shortlisted (one of 10) nominee for the 2011 award. Stetson was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England.[4] His latest album, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, was released by Constellation Records in April 2013, and was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize in June.[3]


Solo albums/As leader[edit]

Colin Stetson at Sled Island Music and Arts Festival, Calgary, 2013.

Collaborations with other artists[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Arcade Fire

With Bon Iver

With Feist

With Jolie Holland

With Timber Timbre

With Tom Waits

With TV on the Radio


External links[edit]