Artists & Interviewers

Wynton Marsalis

WYNTON MARSALIS is a world-renowned trumpeter, composer, educator and leading advocate of American culture. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, he made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and has since recorded more than eighty jazz and classical recordings, and has won nine GRAMMY® awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz GRAMMYs® in the same year. Today Wynton is the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® in five consecutive years (1983-1987).

Marsalis is the recipient of honorary doctorates from over twenty-five of America’s top academic institutions including Columbia, Harvard, Howard, Princeton, and Yale. His creativity has been celebrated the world over. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2001, he was appointed Messenger of Peace by Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in 2005 Wynton received The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.

Marsalis has authored six books including: Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits (Candlewick, 2005), illustrated by poster artist Paul Rogers; Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life (Random House, 2008), with Geoffrey C. Ward; and most recently, Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! (Candlewick, 2012), also illustrated by Paul Rogers.

Marsalis helped lead the effort to construct Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home— Frederick P. Rose Hall—the first education, performance, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz, which opened its doors in October 2004. He currently serves as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director and Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School.

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