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Wynton Marsalis

Born in 1961 near New Orleans, Louisiana to a musical family that included his pianist father Ellis, saxophonist brother Branford, and trombonist brother Delfeayo, Wynton Marsalis studied both jazz and classical trumpet. At eighteen, he entered the Juilliard School, and the next year joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the acclaimed band in which generations of emerging jazz artists honed their craft. He has toured with Herbie Hancock and won Grammy Awards for his jazz and classical concerto records.

He has recorded a series of hard-bop inspired ballads (“Marsalis Standard Time: Volume 1-3”), paid tribute to his native city (“Crescent City Christmas Card”), and written a suite for choreography in the spirit of Duke Ellington (“Citi Movement”). As co-founder and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, Marsalis has been dedicated to presenting the work of jazz masters such as Ellington and Thelonious Monk in formal concert halls. He is a tireless advocate for music education, from hosting a public television series to writing an instructive companion book, Marsalis On Music. He was also a major figure in Ken Burns’ documentary, JAZZ.

In March 2001, Marsalis was awarded the United Nations designation of “Messenger of Peace” by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and in June 2002, received the Congressional “Horizon Award.” When not on tour, he lives in New York. Carl Vigeland is the author of several books, including, with Wynton Marsalis, Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life (see page 33). He has written about golf and many other subjects for such magazines as Golf Digest, Playboy, the Atlantic Monthly, Fast Company, and DoubleTake. He lives in Massachusetts.
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