Saxophonist Ornette Coleman Overcome by Heat During Concert

Classic Arts News   Saxophonist Ornette Coleman Overcome by Heat During Concert
Jazz saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman collapsed onstage Sunday (June 17) while performing in the closing concert of the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.

Reuters reports that the 77-year old Coleman, overcome by heat-related dehydration, was given fluids and taken to Coffey County Hospital.

Coleman recently won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music for his album Sound Grammar, and was presented with a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in February.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Coleman began playing alto saxophone in his teens and later moved to Los Angeles, where colleagues and listeners rejected his musical ideas. An autodidact, he developed his own style before bass players Red Mitchell and Percy Heath recognized his talent. He later attended the Lenox School of Jazz, beginning in 1959. Numerous concert and recording engagements followed, rendering Coleman the most significant figure in avant-garde jazz (later called free jazz) during the 1960s. As his influence subsided under the popularity of John Coltrane in the 1970s, he started using abstract and mechanical compositional techniques, collaborating often with his son Denardo. Sound Grammar was Coleman's first new album in 20 years. He is next scheduled to perform in Kongsberg, Norway on July 6.

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