Fostina Dixon

b. c.1953, Delaware, USA. Taking her early musical inspiration from the church, Dixon began playing clarinet at school, later adding the baritone saxophone. After leaving school, she studied medicine…
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Artist Biography

b. c.1953, Delaware, USA. Taking her early musical inspiration from the church, Dixon began playing clarinet at school, later adding the baritone saxophone. After leaving school, she studied medicine but a year later changed track and began studying at Berklee College Of Music. There she added bass clarinet and flute to her instrumental range, eventually becoming adept also on alto and soprano saxophones. As a child she had listened to pop music, much of it Motown Records, and while still at Berklee was hired to play in the band backing Marvin Gaye where she stayed for the next two years. Settling in Los Angeles, Dixon found work with several bands, backing artists such as Sammy Davis Jnr. and Nancy Wilson. She also formed a group of her own, named Collage, in which she pursued her own musical identity. She was also discovering jazz and gradually incorporating this into her work.

In addition to her considerable instrumental ability, Dixon is also a composer of distinction and a vocalist. With a broad appreciation of many varied musical forms, Dixon’s commitment is total, and she is also eager to extend her audience by finding a style in both playing and composing that appeals beyond the merely intellectual. She is acutely aware of the strictures placed upon her as a woman in jazz, which, added to her being black, has placed unwarranted pressures upon her. Although she often works in groups with other women, including Melba Liston and Company, her band, Collage, happened to be all male. This was not from deliberate choice but occurred because the musicians whose sounds she felt to be compatible with her aural image of how the group should play were men.