Colin Stetson is an American saxophonist and multireedist. He is best known as a regular collaborator of the indie rock acts, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver and Bell Orchestre. In addition to saxophone, he plays clarinet, bass clarinet, french horn, flute, and cornet.
Stetson has released a trilogy of solo releases, entitled New History Warfare, and a collaborative studio album with violinist Sarah Neufeld, entitled Never Were the Way She Was (2015).
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Stetson attended the University of Michigan School of Music, where he joined Transmission Trio. He also played with the groups Boostamonte and the People's Bizarre.
Stetson has performed and recorded with dozens of artists, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Bon Iver, My Brightest Diamond, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinéad O'Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The Chemical Brothers, The National, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Angélique Kidjo, Kevin Devine, Beanie Burnett, and Anthony Braxton.
His extended saxophone techniques cover advanced circular breathing, multiphonics, altissimo, microtones, (reed) vocalisations, percussive valve-work, clicking keys, and growling.
His first solo album, New History Warfare, Vol. 1, was released in 2008. His second album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, was released by Constellation Records in early 2011. On June 16, the album was named as a longlisted nominee (one of 40) for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. On July 6, the album was named as a shortlisted (one of 10) nominee for the 2011 award. Stetson was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England.
His latest album, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light, was released by Constellation Records in April 2013, and was a longlist nominee for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.
Stetson and regular collaborator Sarah Neufeld composed the score to the 2013 film Blue Caprice.