About

Renowned Musician, Composer, Conductor, Arranger

  • Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Choice Award Best Trombone 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Choice “Rising Star Award” Tuba 2014
  • Jazz Journalists Association Award/Trombonist of the Year – 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, 2001
  • Jazz Journalists Association Critics’ Choice Award for Best Trombone – 2000
  • Former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet
  • Former member of Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
  • Featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series
  • Performance experience includes work with Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Shirley Horn, Joe Henderson, Eric Reed, Randy Sandke and Branford Marsalis, plus many top players from the swing and traditional jazz world
  • Compositions performed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon and Friends, the Brass Band of Battle Creek and numerous other ensembles, and performed in programs throughout the U.S. and abroad

Commissioned Works

  • Vibrant new score for the 1925 classic silent film “Body and Soul” (notable as the screen debut of Paul Robeson – premiered at the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra’s 2000-01 season opening night performance at Avery Fisher Hall; released on DVD in 2008.
  • “I Saw the Light,” a musical tribute to Muhammad Ali – premiered by the Brass Band of Battle Creek in March 2004

Recent Commissions

  • “Within Our Gates”:  Jazzmobile commissioned Wycliffe to compose a new score for a silent film by Oscar Micheaux to include a full jazz orchestra and vocalists.  It debuted August 2011 at the Miller Theater and was performed a second time at Symphony Space April 2013.
  • “Apollo: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”: The world famous Apollo Theatre celebrated 75 years of existence by commissioning Wycliffe Gordon as the musical director and composer to present a new work that premiered May 2011.
  • “Beyond the Blackberry Patch”:  The city of Columbus, Ohio commissioned Wycliffe to compose a work about the story of this prominent neighborhood and its story through performance that involved grade school students and members of the community.  Premiered March 2012.

Dedicated & Inspirational Educator

  • Presents master classes, clinics, workshops, children’s concerts and lectures to students from elementary schools to universities
  • “Sing It First” Wycliffe’s unique approach to technique book compiled by Alan Raph released August 2011
  • First method book “Basic Training, Exercises and Suggested Studies by Wycliffe Gordon,” for future release
  • Published a collection of trombone quartets, trios and duos to be entitled “Trombone Majesty”
  • Artist-In-Residence at Georgia Regents University (GRU) 2014-2017
  • 2014, 2016 Residencies–Columbia College Chicago, LALPC Chicago, Prince Claus Conservatoire, The Netherlands
  • Former faculty member of the Jazz Arts Program at Manhattan School of Music

Recordings

  • Latest solo effort “Within Our Gates” release 2016; “Somebody New” released 2015; “Signature Series” released 2014; “Hello Pops,” released 2011
  • 2012 release with Chesky Records titled “Dreams of New Orleans”, and “The Intimate Ellington” CD on the Criss Cross Jazz label released March 2013
  • Twenty solo CDs
  • Eight co-leader CDs

Television/Radio/Film Performances

  • His arrangement of “Bill Bailey” from his CD “Dreams of New Orleans” on Chesky Records, can be heard in the recent 2016 film “Race” the biopic of track legend Jesse Owens
  • Performed at 2000 Grammy Awards with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
  • “Swingin’ with the Duke” – PBS special documentary
  • “Uptown Blues, Ellington at 100” (a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic) Live from Lincoln Center with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
  • “Big Train.” Live from Lincoln Center broadcast with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
  • “Jazz.”, a Ken Burns’s documentary featured soloist
  • “A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert”
  • “Live from Lincoln Center: The Juilliard School at 100 Years”
  • “Journey with Jazz at Lincoln Center” – BET’s 13-part series
  • Guest artist and commentator in NPR affiliate WVIA’s special program on Tommy Dorsey (along with the late Skitch Henderson, just days before Henderson’s death).
  • “Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin” –Compositions by Wycliffe Gordon with Marvin Hamlisch and Angela Lansbury, a DVD based on the award winning children’s book by Lloyd Moss.

Early Life

  • Born in Waynesboro, Georgia 1967
  • Introduced to music by his late father, Lucius Gordon, a classical pianist and teacher
  • Discovered the trombone at age twelve when his older brother began to play it in junior high school band
  • Developed a passion for jazz at age 13 after listening to an extensive jazz record collection bequeathed to his family by an aunt

Awards & Achievements

ASCAP Plus Award 2016 and 2015 for his contributions as a composer.

Downbeat Magazine Names Wycliffe “Best Trombone” 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012

Jazz Journalists Association Awards

  • Wycliffe Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association Award for Trombonist of the Year (2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, 2001); the Jazz Journalists Association Critics’ Choice Award for Best Trombone (2000) and has been nominated for the Jazzpar Award.

Wycliffe Gordon on the Cover of Downbeat Magazine and Brass Herald

  • Wycliffe Gordon was featured on the cover of the August 2014 Issue of Downbeat Magazine for his contributions to Jazz; and on the cover of Brass Herald Magazine’s February 2009 issue and was interviewed by trumpeter Jens Lindeman.

Wycliffe Gordon Honored in Augusta, GA

  • On August 17, 2007 the City of Augusta declared it Wycliffe Gordon Day by proclamation authorized by Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. A Tribute for Mr. Gordon was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Augusta. The sold out crowd gathered to salute all the efforts and accomplishments of Mr. Gordon.

Wycliffe Gordon Recognized with the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award

  • On Friday, June 1, 2007 emergent and critically acclaimed trombonist /composer Wycliffe Gordon was presented with The ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for his innovative musical activity as a composer, instrumentalist, performer, and educator in the field of Jazz.  >>more info

Wycliffe Gordon Awarded With Honorary Doctorate

  • In 2006, Wycliffe Gordon was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Scranton (Pennsylvania), and cited as a champion of our music – a music that models the ideals of democracy through its performance demands for positive and productive interaction, honest communication, and commonality of soul; a music that celebrates triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

U.S. Statesmen of Jazz

  • Wycliffe Gordon is the youngest member of the U.S. Statesmen of Jazz (a touring ensemble featuring senior musicians), and in many tour performances continues to serve as a musical ambassador for the U.S. State Department.

Recipient of the Satchmo Award from the Sarasota Jazz Club

Received the Louis Armstrong Memorial Prize presented by the Swing Jazz Culture Foundation in Budapest

Named Artist of the Year (2015) by the Augusta Arts Council

From the Archives

Upcoming Dates

Keep up with Wycliffe as he makes his way across the USA and around the world.