Wynton Marsalis

American trumpet player and composer (New Orleans, 1961 -)

Wynton Marsalis has the particularity to be an excellent player both in the classical repertoire and in the jazz repertoire. He quickly acquired an international fame: his work, the one he composes as well as the one he interprets, is made for formations of all kinds (big bands, symphonic orchestras, string quartets) and suits varied contexts (events, birthdays, ballets, musical research).

Wynton Marsalis started to play the trumpet at the age of 6 years old and made his first performance with the New Orleans Philharmonic at the age of 14 and played the Trumpet Concerto of Haydn. He left to study at the Juilliard School of Music de New York where he spent time with Art Blakey who would teach him the music intensity and the vital impulse it must be given. In 1981, he founded his jazzband and started to give more and more concerts. Marsalis played with the greatests: Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, etc. His master classes attrat many young jazz talents: James Carter, Eric Lewis, or Roy Hargrove. At the beginning of the 2010's, Marsalis has released more than 70 recordings and sold 7millions copies. On top of his compositions, he also records classical music as well as jazz standards. He regularly receives orders (Garth Fagan, New York City Ballet), and organizes at the Lincoln Center jazz sessions of various forms (concerts, debates, educational programs).

Marsalis cares a great deal about encouraging and financially supporting the people who need it, whether he does it by working with humanitarian associations or by winning scholarships for students. Many institutions recognized his talent and his merit by offering him honorary titles (Grammy Awards, Légion d’Honneur, Doctor of Music).

Six landmark dates in the life of Wynton Marsalis

1983: winner of the Grammy Awards both classical and jazz.
1987: launching of a jazz program at the Lincoln Center.
1995: launching of the tv show Marsalis on Music.
1997: Pulitzer Prize for Music (for his oratorio Blood on the Fields).
2005: National Medal of Arts, given by George Bush.
2009: chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France.

Six key recordings by Wynton Marsalis

1989: The Majesty of the Blues
1992: Blue Interlude
1994 (1997 for the recording): Blood on the Fields
1998: A Fiddler’s Tale, in reference to the piece of Stravinsky A Soldier’s Tale
2000: The Marciac Suite
2010: Portrait in Seven Shades

Official website  : http://wyntonmarsalis.org/