Milford Graves began playing drums at age two. In the seven decades since, he has been at the forefront of the American jazz avant-garde working with other greats, such as Anthony Braxton
and William Parker
. A percussionist known for layering irregular musical textures and natural sounds, he has extensively researched the rhythms of the body, particularly those of the heart. His work also often synthesizes music therapy with free improvisation. He has lectured on topics such as herbology, acupuncture, and body movement, and in 1973 became Professor of Music at Bennington College in Vermont, teaching jazz improvisation and musical healing practices. He received the NYC Vision Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and headlined the first-ever Brandeis Improv Festival at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. His latest album, Space/Time - Redemption
(TUM, 2015), features meditative, electronically-processed duets with bassist Bill Laswell.