Wycliffe Gordon & The Jazz Festival Big Band
Friday, February 6
Musical ambassador and interpreter of America’s music, Wycliffe Gordon has an impressive career touring the world performing hard swinging, straight ahead jazz receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. His unmatched modern mastery of the plunger mute and his exceptional technique and signature sound has solidified Gordon a place in musical history known as one of the top trombonists of his generation. The Critics seem to agree. Wycliffe was named “Best in Trombone” by the Downbeat Critics Poll three years running (2012-2014) and Jazz Journalists Association named him “Trombonist of the Year” in 2013, as well as previous years 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. He is a past recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award, among others.
In addition to an extremely successful solo career, Gordon tours regularly leading the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet, headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers throughout the world. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" series. Gordonʼs extensive performance experience includes work with many of the most renowned jazz performers of the past and present. His “Jazz a la Carte” show, which debuted at the Apollo Theater, was named one of the “top five best moments in jazz” for the year 2011 by The Wall Street Journal.
Gordon's recordings are a model of consistency and inspiration, and his musical expertise has been captured on numerous recordings, including sixteen solo CDs and seven co-leader CDs. His most recent releases, “Hello Pops, A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” and “Dreams of New Orleans” continue to receive rave reviews and both albums pay homage to Wycliffe’s musical hero. Criss Cross Jazz released in 2013 “The Intimate Ellington: Ballads and Blues” which showcases Wycliffe’s vast knowledge of Ellington and Strayhorn techniques. Wycliffe Gordon is also a gifted composer and arranger. He is commissioned frequently by jazz groups and organizations, and has an extensive catalog of original compositions that span the various timbres of jazz and chamber music. Musicians and ensembles of every caliber perform his music throughout the world and his arrangement of the theme song to NPR’s “All Things Considered” is heard daily across the globe.
Gordon is one of Americaʼs most persuasive and committed music educators, and will serve as Artist-in-Residence at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA starting Fall of 2014. This three-year appointment will have Wycliffe developing a jazz studies program as well as teaching courses and working with the music majors. In addition, he serves on the faculty of the Jazz Arts Program at Manhattan School of Music and continues as Music Director for the LALPC (Louis Armstrong Legacy Project) in Chicago. His songbook “This Rhythm On My Mind with accompanying CD was released in 2012 and “Sing It First” — Wycliffe’s own unique approach to playing the instrument, was released in 2011. He continues to publish his original music, and his lead sheets, trombone music and big band charts are all available on his website. His work with young musicians and audiences from elementary schools to universities all over the world is extensive, and includes master classes, clinics, workshops, children’s concerts and lectures — powerful evidence of his unique ability to relate musically to people of all ages