EAST LANSING, MI —Wynton Marsalis, nine time Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center,began his classical training on trumpet at age 12.
He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and the second of six sons.
At age 17 he entered The Juilliard School. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and since he has recorded more than 30 jazz and classical recordings, which have won him nine Grammy Awards.
In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammys in the same year and repeated this feat in 1984. In 1997, he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music, for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1999, he released eight new recordings in his unprecedented Swinging into the 21st series, and premiered several new compositions with the New York City Ballet. That same year he premiered the monumental work All Rise, commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic along with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) and the Morgan State University Choir.
Wynton Marsalis is also an internationally respected teacher and spokesman for music education, and has received honorary doctorates from dozens of universities and colleges throughout the U.S. He conducts educational programs for students of all ages and hosts the popular Jazz for Young PeopleSM concerts produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has also been featured in the video series “Marsalis on Music” and the radio series “Making the Music.” He has also written three books: Sweet Swing Blues on the Road in collaboration with photographer Frank Stewart, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life with Carl Vigeland and the recently released To A Young Jazz Musician: Letters From the Road with Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Wynton also scored the original music for Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, a documentary by Ken Burns.
The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO), composed of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra for over 12 years. Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming, the remarkably versatile LCJO performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe. The LCJO performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works,including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, and Thelonious Monk to name a few.