Arts & Culture

Powerhouse saxophonist, composer Colin Stetson to take Singletary stage

Colin Stetson has earned widespread recognition for his distinctive style and boundary-pushing compositions. Photo provided by Singletary Center for the Arts.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2024) — Colin Stetson, a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer, is set to captivate audiences as part of the Expansive Sounds Series at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Univeristy of Kentucky Singletary Center Recital Hall.

Stetson has earned widespread recognition for his distinctive style and boundary-pushing compositions that blend avant-garde jazz, experimental rock and contemporary classical styles into one sonic journey. His influence and collaboration can be found on many projects with artists including Lou Reed, LCD Soundsystem, Bon Iver and Tom Waits, as well as TV, film and game scores, most notably Netflix’s "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2022), A24 Films’ "Hereditary," Rockstar Games’ "Red Dead Redemption 2," and Disney’s "Among the Stars" — a score in which his unconventional saxophone technique is often mistaken for electronic instrumentation.

“Saxophone was always the instrument I had a real affinity for,” Stetson said. “The shape, the sound, the physicality, the versatility and dynamic possibilities: all of it has kept me searching and learning and striving on it for decades.”  

This persistent dedication is clearly visible in his musical pursuits. His motifs, or musical themes, are often characterized by sweeping, circling and soaring movements, which show both sensitivity as well as strength. Even the body of his instrument, along with his own physical being, serves as a source of vibrant sounds that stretch the limits of imagination.

Stetson will demonstrate his skill with the saxophone on the Singletary Recital Hall stage, incorporating innovative and experimental techniques into his performance. His dynamic and commanding presence on stage promises to deliver a truly electrifying experience for the audience, showcasing his mastery of pushing the boundaries of musical expression.

“Colin Stetson is such a compelling and singular performer; I’m tremendously excited to bring him back to Lexington as part of the SCFA Expansive Sounds Series,” said SCFA Director Matthew Gibson. “His use of circular breathing and extended techniques means that he can compose music that is both delicately beautiful and remarkably intense. This is a performance that folks won’t soon forget!”

In addition to the evening performance, SCFA is excited to offer a masterclass with Colin Stetson at noon in Fine Arts Room 22. Stetson’s masterclass is free and open to the public.

UK students can receive one ticket for free directly from the Singletary Center Ticket Office (valid ID required). 

General public tickets are $25 adults/$10 students (additional processing fees may apply) and can be purchased online, by phone at 859-257-4929, or visiting the SCFA Ticket Office in person.

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