Colin Stetson


"Stetson demolishes clichés to unleash fresh, unexpected energies. It's like being inside an enormous brass tunnel full of windy byways and slamming valves, at once exhilarating and frightening."
- Pitchfork

Colin Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, and spent a decade in San Francisco and Brooklyn honing his formidable talents as a horn player, working extensively live and in studio with a wide range of acts including Tom Waits, TV on the Radio, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. 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. He settled in Montreal in 2007.

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, kicking off a hectic year of solo engagements and year-round touring as part of the Bon Iver band. 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.

Colin'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).

April 2013 saw the release of New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light 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.


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Tim Husom – Redbird Music
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Rosalie Vos – Redbird music
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EU/UK: Jakob Flarer - Saudades
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Melissa Woods – Third Side Music
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New Song from Colin Stetson in National Geographic TV Show Barkskins

Colin Stetson has created a new original score for a the National Geographic TV show "Barkskins". Listen to a new song, “Awake You Sleepy Hearts,” here on Pitchfork.

Sean Penn's space drama for Hulu features music by Colin Stetson

Check out the first teaser for Sean Penn's space drama, "The First". The Hulu series will feature music by Colin Stetson. Read more about the upcoming TV Show and watch the teaser here. 

Tim Hecker & Colin Stetson at Big Ears in March

This isn't your regular music festival. Nor is it one you'd expect to find in Knoxville, Tennessee. But then again, the music industry isn't doing anything by the books anymore. Tim and Colin have shared bills a few memorable times in the past - namely at the Montreal launch of Tim's second-last album, Ravedeath 1972 and most recently at POP Montreal, both time for sold-out and nearly incredulous crowds. But throw in John Cale, Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood, and you've got a reason for the entire Envision office to call an emergency road trip. The Big Ears people call it "another weekend of visionary music, exploratory art, and southern hospitality".

Check out the official line-up on the Big Ears site!

Colin Stetson in the EU

Colin is currently in the EU in support of New History Warfare Vol. 3 : To See More Light. Check out his live dates here!


Canadian Music Week announced the winners of the 2014 SiriusXM Indies - 14th Annual Independent Music Awards. Celebrating the best of independent music the Indies were held at Kool Haus. Colin Stetson took home the award for Jazz Artist of the Year.

Colin Stetson's 'Sorrow' Out April 8th

Colin Stetson reimagines Górecki’s Symphony No. 3.

Colin Stetson releases first single from Hereditary

Colin Stetson has released his first single from his upcoming soundtrack for one of the year's scariest movies, Hereditary. You can listen to the FADER premier of the track here.

Who Are The Waves Roaring For

Dir. by Isaac Gale & David Jensen

Among The Sef

Dir. by Isaac Gale & David Jensen