Jack Wright

Jack Wright / Bob Marsh
Ben Bennett & Jack Wright


After leaving his academic position at Temple University in Philadelphia (European History) in 1972, Wright was active in radical politics, and soon began directing his energies into music. Now at 71 he is one of a very small number of musicians in North America that has played free-formimprovised music exclusively. Through years of near constant touring, often performing for audiences in cities and towns where improvised music had never before been heard, he came to be regarded as something of an underground legend. He has deliberately eschewed the conventions and socio-aesthetic limitations of musical careerism to pursue his own vision. Although his de-professionalized approach sets him apart from most musicians at his level of accomplishment, his art has always grown, expanded, and synthesized new information. He is unquestionably an original and virtuosic saxophonist, a recognized improviser who is deeply lyrical, despite his long distance from the mainstream.

Today Wright tours frequently in Europe and North America (and in Japan in 2006--list of tours), playing sessions and concerts with a huge range of players, and bringing European musicians to the U.S. to perform and meet American players. His inspiration has provided crucial impetus to many of today's musicians and has even motivated the establishment of music venues in order to present him and other improvisers (e.g. Baltimore’s High Zero festival). His vast list of collaborators includes some “name” luminaries (Michel Doneda, Andrea Neumann, Denman Maroney, Axel Dorner, Bhob Rainey, to name a few) but more significant are the many obscure greats he has played with. He has made over 40 recordings (many published on his own Spring Garden label), performed in over 25 countries, and written extensively and insightfully about music and society for journals such as Improjazz (France) and Signal to Noise (US), as well as his own website.
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