Mon, 18 Oct 2021, 20:00
Wynton Marsalis is one of the most successful jazz musicians and jazz composers of his generation – a creative spirit who, as a teacher and an artistic role model with a strong sense of social responsibility, is also one of the outstanding personalities of our time. He received his first trumpet at the age of five. He began his classical training at twelve and made his debut with the New Orleans Philharmonic as soloist in Joseph Haydn’s E flat major Trumpet Concerto when he was fourteen. At the same time, he also played in many funk, jazz and marching bands in his native city. In 1977, he won first prize at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, which included a fellowship. After taking classes at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts, Marsalis studied trumpet at the Juilliard School in New York. During this time he played in the band for Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical Sweeney Todd and made guest appearances with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the New Mexico Philharmonic. His international breakthrough came in 1980, when he joined jazz drummer Art Blakey’s band, the Jazz Messengers. A year later, he went on tour with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. His first album was released in 1982, followed by a recording contract with Columbia Records that led to albums with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Chico Freeman, Art Blakey and Herbie Hancock. He also continued to play classical music, receiving Grammy awards for both classical and jazz recordings in the same year.
Wynton Marsalis is co-founder of the jazz department at New York’s Lincoln Center and artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which emphasizes repertoire from the history of jazz. He is deeply committed to supporting talented young musicians; he launched the popular Jazz for Young People concerts and also established a film series and regular readings on the theme of jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis has received honorary doctorates from numerous universities and colleges and in 1977 became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize.