The winner of the ITA award 2017: WycliffeGordon
The ITA Award recognizes the highest level of creative and artistic output in areas such as performance, composition, arranging, teaching, conducting, research and/or service.
Needing no introduction; Musical ambassador and interpreter of America’s music, Wycliffe Gordon experiences 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.
In addition to an extremely successful solo career, Gordon tours regularly leading his quintet known as Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars, headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers throughout the world. He is commissioned frequently, 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. His show “Jazz a la Carte” was named one of the five best moments in jazz by the Wall Street Journal. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series.
Gordon’s recordings are a model of consistency and inspiration. In 2016, he released his 21st solo CD recording titled “I Give You Love”—a follow up album to his very popular “Hello Pops: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” cd. He also released “Within These Gates of Mine,” an original soundtrack and film score for the 1920’s silent film “Within Our Gates” by African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. His arrangement of “Bill Bailey” from his CD “Dreams of New Orleans” on Chesky Records, can be heard in last year’s blockbuster “Race” the biopic of track legend Jesse Owens.
Other releases, “Somebody New,” a big band album featuring the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra, his “Hello Pops, A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” cd and “The Intimate Ellington: Ballads and Blues” continue to get rave reviews. His musical expertise is sought out by artists across the globe and has been captured on numerous projects and performances with other artists including most recently with David Sanborn. Others include Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, Rene Marie, Dianne Reeves, Anat Cohen, Ricky Skaggs, Arturo Sandoval and Doc Severinsen to name a few.
In addition to performing, composing and recording, Gordon is one of Americaʼs most persuasive and committed music educators, and serves as Artist-in-Residence at Augusta University in Augusta, GA. This year he returns for a residency at Columbia College in Chicago, returns as artist-in-residence at the James Morrison Academy in Australia and continues with Centrum and Vail music camps.
He has published several books including “This Rhythm On My Mind with accompanying CD released in 2012 and “Sing It First”—Wycliffe’s own unique approach to playing the instrument, released in 2011. 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.
Wycliffe Gordon is a Yamaha Performing Artist and has his own line of Wycliffe Gordon Pro Signature Mouthpieces by Pickett Brass. His musical compositions including works for trombone ensemble and big band are available for purchase on his website. For additional information visit www.wycliffegordon.com.