Wynton Marsalis Biography
Brother of Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Jason Marsalis. Son of Ellis Marsalis
Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of classical and jazz music often to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and a jazz recording of his was the first of its kind to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. 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, and he is the only artist to win Grammy Awards for five consecutive years (1983–1987).
Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Dolores and Ellis Marsalis, the second of six sons. 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, Wynton 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.
At age 17, Wynton was the youngest musician admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center, where he won the school's Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979, and picked up gigs around town. In 1980, Wynton joined the Jazz Messengers led by Art Blakey. In the years that followed, Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends.
In 1987, Wynton Marsalis co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center. In July 1996, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as 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. Wynton presently serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.