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WRTI 90.1's Essential Jazz Artist No. 10: Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

Apparently last year’s Essential Jazz Artist Countdown was missing something warm, spicy, and soulful. You have spoken and let us know that one of the toasts of New Orleans should be celebrated…you elected Wynton Marsalis your No. 10!

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Born and raised by the first family of New Orleans jazz, Wynton Marsalis is a household name, recognized as a prolific trumpeter, composer, bandleader, educator and jazz advocate, Wynton has won nine Grammy award and leads numerous combos, big bands and orchestras.

In 1987 he co-founded the Jazz at Lincoln Center program, which has since become a mecca for top performers and jazz lovers alike. From introducing us to Marsalis Standard Time, to leading the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra and their special guests, to crossing over with Richard Galliano, Wynton celebrates and makes his mark on all types of music, and will for years to come.

  • In 1983, Wynton became the only artist to ever win both jazz and classical Grammy awards in the same year. He did it again in 1984.
  • In 1997 Wynton became the first jazz musician to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood on the Fields.
  • Following Hurricane Katrina, Marsalis organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert and raised over $3 million for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane.
  • This past November, The Philadelphia Orchestra presented Marsalis’ Violin Concerto in D Major for its Philadelphia debut.