Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American composer, saxophonist and flautist, who came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating a range of non-jazz genres. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago co-majoring in piano and flute, along with composition. He studied piano with Gail Quillman and composition with Stella Roberts. He has had a music career for over forty years as both a leader and as a composer.
Threadgill's music has been performed by many of his long-lasting instrumental ensembles, including the trio Air with Fred Hopkins and Steve McCall, the seven-piece Sextet, Very Very Circus, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, X-75, Make a Move, Aggregation Orb, and his current group Zooid. He has recorded many critically acclaimed albums as a leader of these ensembles with various record labels namely Arista/Novus, About Time, Axiom, Black Saint, Columbia and Pi Recordings.