Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. His primary creative emphasis is the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. He has worked continuously, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts with many internationally renowned musicians, such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley. His current activity includes work with Made to Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy. In addition, he is the music director of experimental pop band The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, Vandermark also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for music.