Ornette Coleman Biography

Songwriter, Saxophonist (1930–2015)
American jazz saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman created the improvisational style “free jazz,” which disregarded harmonic patterns.


Ornette Coleman was born on March 9, 1930, in Fort Worth, Texas. He began playing music as a teenager and eventually became a working musician. In the 1950s, Coleman developed a style of improvising called “free jazz.” The non-harmonic style was controversial, but he successfully recorded albums like Free Jazz and The Shape of Jazz to Come. In 2007, he received a Pulitzer Prize for his music. In June 2015, at the age of 85, Coleman died of cardiac arrest.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!