Oliver Lake

Oliver Lake

American alto saxophonist, flautist, composer and poet
Date of Birth: 14.09.1942
Country: USA

Biography of Oliver Lake

Oliver Lake is an American alto saxophonist, flutist, composer, and poet. He was born on September 14, 1942, in Marianna, Arkansas. When he was 2 years old, his parents moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Initially, he showed little interest in music and instead developed a passion for drawing. He would spend several hours a day experimenting with various artistic mediums, including oil and acrylic paints on canvas and wood.

Oliver Lake

At the age of 13, Lake became fascinated with playing drums and cymbals. By the time he was 17, he had fully immersed himself in the world of jazz. Like many other members of the Black Artists Group (BAG) and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Lake moved to New York City in the mid-1970s. There, he worked in galleries, clubs, and art studios, which nurtured a diverse community of artists.

Oliver Lake

Lake quickly established himself as one of the most unique, original, and versatile musicians of his time. In 1977, he co-founded the internationally renowned World Saxophone Quartet with Julius Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett, and David Murray. The quartet recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new album featuring compositions by Jimi Hendrix, released on the Justin Time Records label. Lake continues to perform with the quartet, occasionally collaborating with bassists, drummers, and other musicians. He also leads his own groups, including the innovative ensemble Jump Up, which combines funk, reggae, and other genres.

In addition to his musical endeavors, Lake collaborates with renowned choreographers, poets, and the most significant jazz musicians of the late 20th century. He has performed concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Constantly touring and playing with local ensembles worldwide, Lake stays abreast of the latest trends, changing tendencies, and emerging issues in the jazz world.

Lake has always been an advocate for independence and in 1988, he founded the non-profit organization Passin' Thru, Inc. Under his artistic direction, Passin' Thru, Inc. showcases new works by artists, performances by emerging artists validated by esteemed performers, and emphasizes the importance of educational activities in New Jersey, New York, and many other states.

Currently residing in Montclair, New Jersey, Lake's influence extends beyond his own music. His son, Gene Lake, born on January 12, 1966, has become a jazz drummer.

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