Spectrum 3 is a fiery, but soulful vanguard music trio that combines “the cry” of jazz with various other idioms, including the raw aesthetic of their Detroit home and the extended technique explorations of the avant-garde. Lead by saxophonist Skeeter Shelton, Spectrum 3 both explores the outer reaches of free improvisation, and has an extensive repertoire of Shelton’s compositions, which are notable for their depth and emotional directness – standing in stark contrast to the dry, intellectualized material of most improvising groups. This spring, Spectrum 3’s will embark on it’s fourth tour since 2018.
Now in his mid-60s, Shelton is finally getting the notoriety he has long deserved. As the son of drummer and Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) charter member, Ajaramu Shelton, Skeeter was largely raised by organist Amina Claudine Meyers and grew up around many of his parents’ collaborators and employers, including Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman and Fred Anderson. His early musical study was with harpist Dorothy Ashby and organist Lyman Woodard. Shelton has been a member of Hakim Jami’s Street Band, The Vizitors, The Northwoods Improvisers, The Soar Trio (with pianist Thollem), The Faruq Z. Bey Quartet, the United States Army Band and Joe Tex’s group. He has performed and/or recorded with Fred Anderson, James Blood Ulmer, Han Bennink, Dennis Gonzales James Carter and Dushun Mosley. At the end of 2021, he released, Sclupperbep, a duo record with percussionist Hamid Drake on Two Rooms Records.
Joel Peterson is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who works in a wide range of musical fields. He has performed with William Hooker, Elliot Sharp, Han Bennink, Damo Suzuki, Marshall Allen, Rhys Chatham, Amy Denio, Salim Washington, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jack Wright, Eugene Chadbourne and many others. His chamber music has been performed by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Opera Theater, New Music Detroit and The Toronto Symphony. Peterson is a founding member of Immigrant Suns; Cycle of Rejuvenation (with William Hooker); BoxDeserter and Soar Trio with Thollem; Agape Trio (with Alex Harding); Scavenger Quartet (with Frank Pahl); Kindred (with Faruq Z. Bey); Viands, and rock-hybrid improvisers Chatoyant. Peterson also owns and operates the art space Trinosophes in Detroit.
James Baljo is best-known as the former guitarist of noise darlings Wolf Eyes, but he also performs solo guitar-with-tape-machine sets as 696 Blues Band, plays drums and percussion in improvising hybrid band Chatoyant and performed with various electronics in CJS. His extensive touring has crossed the US, Europe and parts of the Middle East.