If you want to be a real jazz player you have to see and hear the people that play jazz music. So, we will end each Lesson by introducing you to real jazz player. However, instead of selecting Jazz Masters from the past, we will meet some of the contemporary people that are out there today making Jazz History. So, let’s meet our first jazz artist, Wynton Marsalis. He is a trumpeter, composer, band leader and educator. He was also a student at the Juilliard School of Music and is considered one of America’s outstanding classical musicians.
In 1980, Wynton joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he soon gained recognition as one of the country’s most promising young jazz players. His extraordinary talent soon made him a world-wide jazz missionary, spreading the “word” to all parts of the globe. Wynton continued to gain popularity and soon formed his own band. He continued to record and inspire many young musicians through his performance and numerous educational clinics. It wasn’t long, before New York discovered Wynton’s gift as a composer. This resulted in many outstanding musical scores for top ballet and dance groups.
In 1987 Wynton Marsalis co-founded Jazz at The Lincoln Center, currently a sponsor of jazz performance and educational programs at New York’s premier performing arts center. Since 1992, Marsalis has served as the organization’s Artistic Director, and as leader of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Marsalis has written numerous well known concert works for the orchestra. In 1997, Wynton Marsalis received the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his oratorio, “Blood in the Fields”. Marsalis was the first jazz musician ever to be so honored with this award. In addition to his busy schedule of composing, recording and performing, Marsalis produces music education programs for public radio and television. Beyond his achievements as an artist, Wynton Marsalis has matured into a public figure of courage and conviction.
Check out Wynton on Youtube.