Joe McPhee plays many instruments, including saxophones, pocket trumpet, valve trombone, bass and alto clarinet, piano, and sometimes electronics. He was born in Miami in November of 1939 into a family with strong ties to sacred and secular musical traditions. As a child, McPhee was taught by his father to play the trumpet and to read music. After a stint in the Army, he came to New York City in the mid-’60s to share an early collaboration with Clifford Thornton, and this is also the time that he began to study the tenor saxophone. He taught in the Black Studies Department at Vassar College in upstate New York (and maintains his home in Poughkeepsie to this day). His first recordings, including those with Thornton as well as his magnificent solo recital Tenor, have now been reissued, and offer testimony to the power of his early work. Today, McPhee is held in highest esteem throughout Europe and the world, widely admired for the deep emotional content and expressive lyricism he brings to free improvisation. His music can be heard on more than eighty recordings: solo on his various horns, duos with many different musicians, and in larger ensembles, collaborating with musicians of various generations all over the world. Some of his Edgefest performances have been released on CD, including Trio X in Black and White (2002), and Live at Edgefest (with Andrew Drury and Piotr Michalowski, 2012).