A musician, composer, conductor and arranger, Yamaha Performing Artist Wycliffe Gordon is one of the top trombonists of his generation.
Jazz Journalists Association named him “Trombonist of the Year” in 2016-2020, 2011-13, 2006-08 and 2001-02. He received the 2019 Sonny Award presented by Suncoast Jazz. He was presented with the 2018 “Louie Award” by the Louis Armstrong House Museum. He received Downbeat magazine’s “Best Trombone” award 2018, 2016 and 2012-14. He received the International Trombone Association ITA Award in 2017, recognizing the highest level of creative and artistic output in performance, composition, arranging, teaching, conducting, research and/or service. He received the ASCAP Plus Award in 2014-17 for his contributions as a composer. In 2007, he received the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for his innovative musical activity as a composer, instrumentalist, performer and educator in the field of jazz.
Gordonʼs musical expertise has been captured on numerous recordings, including 21 solo CDs and eight co-leader CDs. His arrangement of the theme song to NPR’s “All Things Considered” is heard daily across the globe. “Jazz a la Carte” was named one of the five best moments in jazz by the Wall Street Journal. His extensive commissioned works include “Still, We Rise: He Heard My Cry” and “A Soldier’s Heart.” He 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.
Performance experience includes work with David Sanborn, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, Rene Marie, Dianne Reeves, Anat Cohen, Ricky Skaggs, Arturo Sandoval, Doc Severinsen, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Shirley Horn, Joe Henderson, Eric Reed, Randy Sandke and Branford Marsalis, to name a few.
Gordon is a persuasive and committed music educator; 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. His experience includes:
- Director of Jazz Studies, Augusta University, Present
- Jazz Artist Resident, Ravenscroft Jazz Residency, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ, 2019-2020
- Artist-In-Residence at Augusta University, 2014-2018
- Artist-In-Residence in Jazz Studies, Peabody Conservatory, 2018-2019
- Artist-In-Residence in Jazz Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia PA, 2018
- Artist-In-Residence, James Morrison Academy, Mt. Gambier Australia, 2016, 2017
- 2014, 2016 Residencies–Columbia College Chicago, LALPC Chicago, Prince Claus Conservatoire, The Netherlands
- Professor of Jazz Arts at Manhattan School of Music, 2009-15
- Professor of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School from 2002-08
His unmatched modern mastery of the plunger mute and his exceptional technique and signature sound, has solidified Gordon a place in musical history. He has his own line of Wycliffe Gordon Pro Signature Mouthpieces by Pickett Brass.