Wynton Marsalis

Renowned for being one of the world's greatest trumpeters, Wynton Marsalis is usually categorised as a jazz musician, although his fields of references, his influence and his own musical horizons have always stretched much further, occasionally extending their boundaries to incorporate avant-garde ideas. The second of six sons born to pianist and music professor Ellis Marsalis in New Orleans, he was playing traditional jazz with his local Baptist church band at the age of eight and by 14 he was playing with the New Orleans Philharmonic. At 17 he became the youngest student ever admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center and won a special award for his prowess on brass, studying with the great trumpeter Woody Shaw. In 1980 he joined The Jazz Messengers, led by Art Blakey, and went on to play with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock. In 1995 he fronted the educational TV series 'Marsalis On Music' and the award-winning radio show 'Making the Music', all the while he continued to make records that challenged accepted notions of jazz like 'Black Codes' (1985), 'J Mood' (1986), 'Citi Movement' (1992), 'Joe Cool's Blues' (1995) and 'From the Plantation to the Penitentiary' (2007). In 2011 he embarked on a collaboration with blues-rock guitarist Eric Clapton, recording a live album at the Lincoln Center in New York, 'Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues'. Embracing everything from blues to world music, classical and hip-hop, he has continued to open musical doors with his records, shows and broadcasts and was the first musician to gain Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records.

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