Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944), Chicago, Illinois, is an American saxophonist, flautist and composer. He performed as a percussionist in high school marching bands, and served briefly in a U.S. Army band. Threadgill is notable as one of avant-garde jazz's most unique composers. His dense, elaborate, multi-layered music is often strictly scored, in contrast to the loose, improvisatory feel of much jazz. Elements of traditionalafrican music, mexican music, folk music and opera are often as prominently featured as traditional jazz and blues music.