Episode #3

Jazz Composer Henry Threadgill

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Henry Threadgill is the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Henry Threadgill is the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music. (John Rogers/Pi Recordings)

Henry Threadgill wants to know how to build the house. Whether it's Moby Dick or jazz composition, the 72-year-old jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist has spent his life figuring out what goes into building the greatest works of arts. At three years of age, he started teaching himself to play piano by mimicking the boogie-woogie on the radio. From there, he set to figuring out how to compose his own music.

Recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Threadgill talks with Helga about giving license to your imagination in order to create, the life energy that connects a performer to his creations, and pushing yourself to go beyond excellence to greatness.

“People have different names for the life force in them. But it’s energy. The only thing that science seems to be able to tell us about energy is you can’t destroy it. You can change it but you cannot destroy it. So wherever you house it, it’s only being housed until it has to change.” –Henry Threadgill

This conversation contains explicit language that some listeners may find offensive.

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Henry Threadgill

Hosted by:

Helga Davis

Produced by:

Julia Alsop and Curtis Macdonald


Alex Ambrose

Comments [2]

Cecilie Beck from New York

Helga, thank you so much for this interview.
I work for Henry. I've heard/read a bunch of interviews with him
and this one must have been the best. Your personality was just shining through the air and right into us listeners' ears.
I really enjoyed the personal approach and the way you guys spoke about Butch as well.


Nov. 23 2016 03:09 PM
Velibor Pedevski from New York

Thank you, thank you...., Helga.

Nov. 21 2016 11:06 PM

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