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Aram Shelton Aram Shelton

Aram Shelton is a multi-instrumentalist on saxophones and clarinets, a composer & improviser, and creates electroacoustic music with computer-based electronics. While the music he makes is spread across a variety of aesthetic lines, it is related by the importance of improvisation to develop material and express the individuality of musicians. He currently lives in Oakland, California.

Shelton has performed with a wide variety of talented musicians, including Tim Daisy, Ken Vandermark, Jason Ajemian, Josh Berman, Audrey Chen, Fred Lonberg-holm, Dave Rempis, Damon Smith, Steve Bernstein, Weasel Walter, Jason Roebke, Liz Albee, Rob Mazurek, Matt Bauder, Jessica Pavone, Fred Frith, Josh Abrams, Harris Eisenstadt, Jeb Bishop, Tim Perkis, Kevin Drumm, Jon Raskin, Frank Rosaly, Guillermo Gregorio, and Chris Brown. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe including appearances at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Suoni per il Popolo Festival in Montreal, and the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival. His playing and music has been documented on more than ten albums through various imprints including 482 Music, Locust Music, MultiKulti, Edgetone, Delmark, and his own Singlespeed Music.

Beginning on tenor saxophone while growing up on a small ranch in southeast Florida, Shelton switched to alto saxophone in college, as a way to focus on the classical techniques of the instrument. After college, Shelton lived in Washington DC for a summer where he met other young musicians interested in making music unrestricted by style. He moved to Chicago in the spring of 1999, inspired by the amount of musical activity and quickly became involved in the city’s creative music scene. While there, Shelton developed his playing style on alto saxophone while also studying clarinet and trumpet. He played creative jazz and improvised music in many settings, including the groups Dragons 1976, Arrive, and Rapid Croche. Over time he also became interested in the use of computer- based electronics for the live sampling and manipulation of acoustic instruments, and formed the group Grey Ghost with Johnathan Crawford.

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”As an improviser, he possesses the mind of a composer, such is the consideration he puts into his work” - All About Jazz

“Shelton’s alto tone is full of the quizzical curls and bitter wisps, not to mention sharp repetition, that recall Roscoe Mitchell at his hairiest.”- Clifford Allen

“Shelton plays alto with a singing sound and a wonderful way of developing juicy phrases into full-blown solos.” - John Litweiler

“brings to mind a young Anthony Braxton, with an acerbic asceticism, obliquely rooted in jazz, at work.” - All About Jazz



Album Dormancy by Aram Shelton


Singlespeed Music



482 Music

Album On and On by Aram Shelton

On and On

Singlespeed Music

Album Everything For Somebody by Aram Shelton

Everything For...

Singlespeed Music

Album There Was... by Aram Shelton

There Was...

Clean Feed Records




Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
saxophone, tenor
Fred Anderson Fred Anderson
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
saxophone, soprano
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
Bill Dixon Bill Dixon
Mike Reed Mike Reed
Roscoe Mitchell Roscoe Mitchell
Daniel Carter Daniel Carter
saxophone, tenor
Brian Groder Brian Groder
Peter Kowald Peter Kowald
bass, acoustic
Keefe Jackson Keefe Jackson

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