Master saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell on improvising a 30-minute song

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Roscoe Mitchell playing at a concert in Norway, 2017. Credit: Tore Sætre/CC BY-SA 2.0.

This week is the launch of the Black Fire Sessions, two concerts at The Broad that celebrate innovative black musicians of the 1960s and ‘70s. It’s part of the Broad’s current exhibition "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power." 

Roscoe Mitchell will perform on July 17, and he's one of the key figures in avant garde jazz and experimental music.  

He started the Art Ensemble of Chicago in the late 1960s, and began studying music when he was 12 years old, which he considers late.

For those interested in learning music, Roscoe says, "I would just advise people to start as early as they can. You're never going to run out of things to study in music, if you're a serious student of music. I think I would probably need two or three lifetimes to learn everything I would like to know about music."