World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Wynton Marsalis

Article Id: WHEBN0000210483
Reproduction Date:

Title: Wynton Marsalis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jeff "Tain" Watts, Branford Marsalis, Live at the House of Tribes, Art Blakey, Roger Ingram
Collection: 1961 Births, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Composers, 21St-Century American Musicians, 21St-Century Composers, African-American Jazz Musicians, American Classical Trumpeters, American Jazz Bandleaders, American Jazz Composers, American Jazz Trumpeters, American Male Composers, Blue Note Records Artists, Columbia Records Artists, Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, George Peabody Medal Winners, Grammy Award Winners, Jazz Messengers, Jazz Musicians from New Orleans, Louisiana, Jazz Musicians from New York, Jazz Radio Presenters, Juilliard School Alumni, Living People, Male Jazz Musicians, Post-Bop Jazz Musicians, Pulitzer Prize for Music Winners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis
Marsalis at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) Seventh Annual Jazz Festival in West Orange, New Jersey
Background information
Birth name Wynton Learson Marsalis
Born (1961-10-18) October 18, 1961
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Genres Jazz, post-bop, jazz poetry, classical, Baroque, avant-garde jazz, big band, Dixieland Jazz, Funk, jazz-funk, jazz fusion, third stream
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra and opera, educator
Instruments Trumpet, cornet, flumpet, flugelhorn
Years active 1980–present
Labels Columbia, Sony, Blue Note
Associated acts English Chamber Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Website .comwyntonmarsalis

Wynton Learson Marsalis (born October 18, 1961) is a trumpeter, composer, teacher, music educator, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, United States. Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of classical and jazz music often to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and his Blood on the Fields was the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Marsalis is the son of jazz musician Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (pianist), grandson of Ellis Marsalis, Sr., and brother of Branford (saxophonist), Delfeayo (trombonist), and Jason (drummer). He performed the national anthem of Super Bowl XX in 1986.


  • Life and career 1
  • Awards and recognition 2
    • Music awards 2.1
  • Criticism 3
  • Discography 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Life and career

Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, the second of six sons of Delores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor.[1] Marsalis and wife Delores Ferdinand have six sons: Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III (1964), Delfeayo Marsalis, Mboya Kinyatta Marsalis (1971), and Jason Marsalis. Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason are also jazz musicians. Ellis is a poet, photographer, and network engineer based in Baltimore. At an early age, he exhibited an aptitude for music.

At age eight, Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by banjoist Danny Barker, and at 14, he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During high school, Marsalis performed with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with a local funk band, the Creators.

Marsalis graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School with a 3.98 GPA.[2] At age 17, he was the youngest musician admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center, where he won the school's Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. He moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979, and picked up gigs around town. During this period, Marsalis received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to spend time and study with trumpet innovator Woody Shaw, one of Marsalis' major influences at the time. In 1980, he joined the Jazz Messengers led by Art Blakey. In the years that followed, Marsalis performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz musicians.

In 1995, PBS premiered Marsalis on Music, an educational television series on jazz and classical music hosted and written by Marsalis. Also, in 1995, National Public Radio aired the first of Marsalis' 26-week series, entitled Making the Music. His radio and television series were awarded the George Foster Peabody Award. Marsalis has also written five books: Sweet Swing Blues on the Road, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life, To a Young Musician: Letters from the Road, Jazz ABZ (an A to Z collection of poems celebrating jazz greats), and his most recent release Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life. There is a Language Arts study guide available for Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life for high school English teachers who desire to integrate the arts into their classrooms. It is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and has audio and visual supplemental materials.

Marsalis at the Lincoln Center in 2004

In 1987, Marsalis co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center. In July 1996, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as a new constituent of Lincoln Center. In October 2004, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world's first institution for jazz containing three performance spaces (including the first concert hall designed specifically for jazz), along with recording, broadcast, rehearsal and educational facilities. Marsalis serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. One of his most recent releases was a 2011 collaboration with blues-rock guitarist Eric Clapton, a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert that produced the live album Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues.

In December 2011, Marsalis was named cultural correspondent for the new CBS This Morning.[3] Wynton Marsalis is a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board. [4]

Marsalis currently serves as director of the Juilliard Jazz studies program.

Awards and recognition

Statue dedicated to Wynton Marsalis in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards. In 1983 and 1984, he became the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records. He is one of only two artists to win Grammy Awards for five consecutive years of musical contributions. (The other artist is polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr. As a comparison standpoint, but in a different realm, Bill Cosby has earned six consecutive Grammys for Best Comedy Performance/Recording.)

Honorary degrees Marsalis has received include those conferred by New York University,[5] Columbia, Harvard, Howard, the State University of New York, Princeton, University of Vermont and Yale. Marsalis was honored with the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal and the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement, and was dubbed an Honorary Dreamer by the I Have a Dream Foundation. The New York Urban League awarded Marsalis with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for distinguished leadership and the American Arts Council presented him with the Arts Education Award.

Time magazine's list of promising Americans under the age 40 selected Marsalis in 1995, and in 1996, Time celebrated Marsalis as one of America's 25 most influential people. In November 2005, Marsalis received the National Medal of Arts. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan proclaimed Marsalis an international ambassador of goodwill for the United States by appointing him a UN Messenger of Peace (2001).

In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio, Blood on the Fields. In a personal note to Marsalis, Zarin Mehta wrote, "I was not surprised at your winning the Pulitzer Prize for Blood on the Fields. It is a broad, beautifully painted canvas that impresses and inspires. It speaks to us all ... I'm sure that, somewhere in the firmament, Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong and legions of others are smiling down on you."

Marsalis won the Netherlands' Edison Award and the Grand Prix du Disque of France. The Mayor of Vitoria, Spain, awarded him the city's Gold Medal – its most coveted distinction. In 1996, Britain's senior conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, made Marsalis an honorary member, the Academy's highest decoration for a non-British citizen. The city of Marciac, France, erected a bronze statue in his honor. The French Ministry of Culture appointed Marsalis the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature, and in the fall of 2009, Marsalis received France's highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, an honor that was first awarded by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Marsalis, with his Julyssa Almanza and Valerie Almanza, were group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award.[6]

Marsalis has toured 30 countries on every continent except Antarctica, and nearly five million copies of his recordings have been sold worldwide.

Music awards

Marsalis receiving a George W. Bush in 2005

Pulitzer Prize for Music

Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)

Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo

Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children

  • 2000 Listen to the Storyteller


Marsalis reaching toward the camera
Marsalis backstage in 2007

Jazz critic Scott Yanow regards Marsalis as talented but has criticized his "selective knowledge of jazz history" and that he considers "post-1965 avant-garde playing to be outside of jazz and 1970s fusion to be barren" as the unfortunate result of the "somewhat eccentric beliefs of Stanley Crouch".[7] Bassist Stanley Clarke said "All the guys that are criticizing—like Wynton Marsalis and those guys—I would hate to be around to hear those guys playing on top of a groove!" Mr. Clarke also admitted, "These things I've said about Wynton are my criticism of him, but the positive things I have to say about him outweigh the negative. He has brought respectability back to Jazz" [8]



  • (Editions Un autre Reg'art, 2014) : a reference book about the French city of Marciac, the "Jazz in Marciac" festival and the key-role played by Wynton Marsalis in the story of this famous jazz festivalLe Fabuleux Destin de Marciac


  1. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, March 25, 2012
  2. ^ "Wynton Marsalis". 
  3. ^ "Wynton Marsalis". December 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ "CuriosityStream Advisory Board". Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "New York University Holds 175th Commencement". Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  6. ^ National Endowment for the Arts (June 24, 2010). "National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters". Washington: National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved July 19, 2010. For the first time in the program's 29-year history, in addition to four individual awards, the NEA will present a group award to the Marsalis family, New Orleans' venerable first family of jazz. 
  7. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Wynton Marsalis Biography". allmusic. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  8. ^ Byrnes, Sholto. "Stanley Clarke: The Bass Line Heard Around The World". Jazz Forum: the magazine of the International Jazz Federation, Poland. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.