World-renowned multi-instrumentalist, composer, orchestrator and educator Makanda Ken McIntyre was a tireless musical innovator for nearly half a century, with 12 albums and more than 600 compositions and arrangements to his credit. His works include compositions for woodwind quartets, chamber ensembles, jazz bands, and full orchestra, as well as hundreds of lead sheets. He composed ballads, calypsos, bebop, avant-garde and the blues.
Makanda was known primarily for leading his own ensembles performing on alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, oboe and bassoon and being proficient on more than 16 instruments, including bass, drums and piano. His playing on all these instruments projected a highly energetic, celebratory life force.