Julius Hemphill, an influential saxophonist from Texas passed away on April 2, 1995. Hemphill was a pioneer of avant-garde jazz and his contributions to the saxophone are still felt today.
Hemphill began his career in the 1960s as a member of the Black Artists’ Group in St. Louis. He later moved to New York City where he became a key figure in the avant-garde jazz scene. He was known for his innovative approach to music and his unique blend of blues and free jazz styles.
Hemphill’s playing was characterized by his use of extended techniques, including multiphonics, overtones, and circular breathing. He was also a prolific composer, and his compositions were notable for their use of complex rhythms and harmonies.
Hemphill’s influence on the world of saxophone and jazz can still be heard today. His dedication to his craft and his innovative approach to music continue to inspire saxophonists around the world. His legacy lives on through his recordings, which remain an important part of the jazz canon.
So, on this day, we celebrate the life and music of Julius Hemphill and honor his incredible contributions to the world of saxophone and jazz.
Here’s Hemphill and the song “S” on Spotify: