Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, New York City, c. 1985.
Photograph by Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Born October 18, 1961, in New Orleans, LA
“Jazz is an art form,” trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has said, “that gives us a painless way of understanding ourselves.” Few contemporary jazz musicians have stated the case for jazz more articulately than Marsalis, and few have made their art more welcoming to audiences young and old. The son of a jazz pianist and a brother to five siblings, three of whom are also musicians, he was born in New Orleans in 1961, and by his late teens he had earned a reputation among both jazz and classical musicians. At 19, he left New York’s Juilliard School to join drummer Art Blakey, and two years later he became the first musician to win Grammy awards in both the classical and jazz categories. In 1987 he co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and, as its artistic director, he has led its resident big band, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, in concerts, clinics, workshops, and parades in every part of the world. The first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize (for his 1997 oratorio Blood on the Fields), Marsalis makes the case that jazz “provides a way to look in wonderment at the world around us,” helping us to “see and hear the many forms and concepts that unite us all.”
Learn more at www.wyntonmarsalis.com