Wynton Marsalis

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Wynton Marsalis (2020)
Wynton Marsalis (2004)

Wynton Learson Marsalis (born October 18, 1961 in New Orleans ) is one of the most famous contemporary jazz trumpeters and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center .


Wynton Marsalis was born as the second of six sons of the jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis and his wife Dolores. His older brother is the jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis . The two younger brothers Delfeayo (trombone) and Jason (drums) also became jazz musicians.

Wynton started playing the trumpet when he was 12 years old. He gained experience in traditional jazz as a teenager in Danny Barker's band . After studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York , he became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1980 . Marsalis has been a soloist and teacher since 1982, devoting himself to both jazz and classical music . The jazz author Joachim-Ernst Berendt judged him: "Since Dizzy Gillespie the trumpet in jazz has not been blown with such a lucid instrumental and technical mastery as by Wynton Marsalis." In 1997 Marsalis was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . For 2015 he received the National Humanities Medal .

Marsalis is considered an extremely conservative musician who rigorously rejects many stylistic developments in jazz from the late 1960s - such as free jazz or fusion . He is supported by representatives of the jazz avant-garde z. Sometimes heavily criticized - John Zorn described him as "racist" and Matthew Shipp as "fascist". Nevertheless, he took part in the recording of Mingus' third stream composition Epitaph and Joe Henderson's album Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn . As a teacher at New York's Lincoln Center and musical director of the jazz department there, he gained considerable influence in the 1990s. One of his best-known colleagues is the writer and publicist Stanley Crouch . He was also a key advisor to Ken Burns' television series on jazz, which was also criticized for its limited view of jazz history. Since 2012 he has been working as a cultural correspondent for CBS.

Wynton Marsalis was in a relationship with ex-dancer and actress Victoria Rowell from 1990 to 1997 . Their son Jasper Armstrong Marsalis was born on December 26, 1995.


Statue dedicated to Wynton Marsalis in Vitoria-Gasteiz , Spain
  • 1983: Wynton Marsalis
  • 1983: Think of One
  • 1983: Haydn, L. Mozart, Hummel: Trumpet Concertos
  • 1984: Purcell, Handel, Torelli: More Trumpet Concertos
  • 1984: Hot House Flowers
  • 1985: Black Codes (From the Underground)
  • 1986: Tomasi: Trumpet Concerto / Jolivet: Trumpet Concerto & Concertino
  • 1986: J Mood
  • 1987: Carnaval
  • 1987: Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. 1
  • 1988: Baroque Music for Trumpets
  • 1988: The Wynton Marsalis Quartet Live at Blues Alley
  • 1988: Best of Wynton Marsalis
  • 1989: The Majesty of the Blues (with Dr. Michael White )
  • 1989: Crescent City Christmas Card
  • 1990: Standard Time, Vol. 3: The Resolution of Romance
  • 1990: Julia and her lovers (Tune in Tomorrow…) The Original Soundtrack
  • 1991: Standard Time, Vol. 2: Intimacy Calling
  • 1991: Thick in the South - Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 1
  • 1991: Uptown Ruler Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2
  • 1991: Levee Low Moan Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 3
  • 1992: Baroque Duet
  • 1992: Blue Interlude
  • 1992: Baroque Duet - A Film by Susan Froemke , Peter Gelb, Albert Maysles , Pat Jaffe
  • 1993: Citi Movement
  • 1993: On the Twentieth Century … Hindemith; Poulenc; Amber; Ravel
  • 1994: In This House, on This Morning
  • 1994: The London Concert
  • 1995: Joe Cool's Blues
  • 1995: Marsalis on Music - Listening for Clues: Marsalis on Form
  • 1995: Marsalis on Music - Why Toes Tap: Marsalis on Rhythm
  • 1997: Blood on the Fields
  • 1997: Jump Start & Jazz
  • 1998: The Midnight Blues - Standard Time, Vol. 5
  • 1998: Classic Wynton
  • 1999: Marsalis Plays Monk - Standard Time, Vol. 4
  • 1999: At the Octoroon Balls - String Quartet No. 1; A Fiddler's Tale Suite
  • 1999: Big Train
  • 1999: Sweet Release and Ghost Story: Two More Ballets by Wynton Marsalis
  • 1999: Mr. Jelly Lord - Standard Time, Vol. 6
  • 1999: Reeltime
  • 2001: Popular Songs: The Best of Wynton Marsalis
  • 2002: Trumpet Concertos
  • 2002: Marsalis: All Rise
  • 2004: The London Concert (Expanded Edition)
  • 2004: The Magic Hour
  • 2005: Unforgivable Blackness (Soundtrack)
  • 2005: A Love Supreme
  • 2005: Live at House of Tribes
  • 2005: Don't Be Afraid… The Music of Charles Mingus
  • 2007: From the Plantation to the Penitentiary
  • 2008: Two Men with the Blues (with Willie Nelson )
  • 2009: He and She
  • 2009: Christmas Jazz Jam
  • 2010: From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf (The Wynton Marsalis Quintett and Richard Galliano )
  • 2011: Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles (Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis featuring Norah Jones )
  • 2011: Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center (with Eric Clapton ) ( 3 × Gold in the German Jazz Award )
  • 2011 Swingin 'into the 21st
  • 2011 Selections from Swingin 'into the 21st
  • 2012 The Music of America
  • 2013 The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis
  • 2015 Live in Cuba , with JLCO
  • 2015 Big Band Holidays , with JLCO
  • 2016 The Abyssinian Mass , with JLCO
  • 2017 The Music of John Lewis , with JLCO
  • 2019 Bolden (Original Soundtrack)


Symphonic music


"Wynton Marsalis is possibly the greatest trumpeter of all time."

“Wynton mimics other people's styles too well. To imitate everyone else cannot be learned without a real deficit. I've never heard of Wynton that sounded like anything significant. His music sounds like a talented high school trumpeter ... He's just as jazzy as someone who drives a BMW is athletic. "

- Keith Jarrett , 1997

"Marsalis" never tires of proclaiming the purity law of jazz: swing, functional harmonic concepts, spontaneous melodic variations have been the essence of jazz from the beginning. Free jazz, fusion music, relationships with rap and other popular or avant-garde cultural phenomena are merely Outgrowths of an aesthetic misguided by commercial thinking or fanaticism of originality. - But what does 'true jazz' mean in music that is acculturated from a wide variety of sources and for which mixing has always been something fundamental? "

- Wolfgang Sander, 2010

German-language literature

Web links

Commons : Wynton Marsalis  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Berendt: Das Jazzbuch , 1989, p. 186
  2. Joachim-Ernst Berendt and Günther Huesmann: Das Jazzbuch: From New Orleans to the 21st century . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-15964-2 , pp. 237 .
  3. Matthew Shipp - opowiada o muzyce, rynku płytowym, Glennie Gouldzie i Wyntonie Marsalisie. jazzarium.pl, accessed March 5, 2017 (Polish).
  4. ^ Howard Mandel in jazz beyond jazz 2011
  5. a b biography of Victoria Rowell at IMDb.com (English); last accessed on March 23, 2019
  6. Gold / platinum database of the Federal Music Industry Association, accessed on November 20, 2015
  7. ^ Digital Concert Hall - "Swing Symphony" with Simon Rattle and Wynton Marsalis ; accessed on April 27, 2019
  8. YouTube.com - Swing Symphony (accessed April 29, 2019)
  9. Maurice André. Quoted from: Joachim-Ernst Berendt , Günther Huesmann : Das Jazzbuch. From New Orleans to the 21st century. 7th completely revised and updated edition. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-10-003802-9 , p. 212.
  10. Keith Jarrett in an article for the New York Times, 1997. Quoted from: Joachim-Ernst Berendt , Günther Huesmann : Das Jazzbuch. From New Orleans to the 21st century. 7th completely revised and updated edition. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-10-003802-9 , p. 213.
  11. The ability to sound good spurs exemplary behavior to Frankfurter Allgemeine from October 21, 2010