Renowned Musician, Composer, Conductor, Arranger
- Veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, 1989-1995
- Original member of Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1995-2000
- Featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wycliffe Gordon is a Yamaha Performing Artist and has his own line of Wycliffe Gordon Pro Signature Mouthpieces by Pickett Brass.
- “Still, We Rise: He Heard My Cry.” Commissioned by the Gailliard Center in Charleston, SC to honor the ongoing preservation and recognition of the “Slave Dwelling Project” a joint effort with the Historic Charleston Foundation, to bring attention to the enslaved people of these dwellings and how they lived and prospered behind the “big houses.” Premiered Jan. 13, 2019 Charleston, SC at the Gailliard Center.
- “A Soldier’s Heart.” Commissioned by the Savannah Children’s Choir to commemorate D day in Normandy, France. The lyrics were written by Roger Moss and are based on a quote from General Marshall on D Day with reference to the 320 Barrage Balloon Battalion. Premiered April 29, 2018 at the Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts in Savannah, GA and again on June 6, 2018 at the American Cemetery in Coleville-Sur-Mer, Normandy, France.
- “Celebration Suite: I, II and III.” Commissioned by the U.S. Embassy for the 70thanniversary of U.S.-Sri Lankan relations.The work is representative of the historical and positive relationship between the United States and Sri Lanka since the recognition of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) by President Harry S. Truman, and has elements representative of Sri Lankan culture, music and dance. Premiered during a US State Dept. Tour by Wycliffe Gordon February 2018.
- “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. Premiered in Georgia at the Savannah Music Festival in 2016.
- “Hancher Shall Forever Be”: Commissioned by University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium to compose a dedication piece for the reopening of Hancher Auditorium. Premiered the work with the Iowa Symphony and Choir in 2016.
- “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.
- 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.
Dedicated & Inspirational Educator
- Presents master classes, clinics, workshops, children’s concerts and lectures to students from elementary schools to universities all over the world.
- Director of Jazz Studies, Augusta University, Present
- 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, 2009-2015
- Professor of Jazz Studies, The Juilliard School, 2002-2008
- Associate Professor, Michigan State University 2000-2002 and Artist in Residence 2002-2003
- “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 entitled “Trombone Majesty”
- “I Give You Love” with his band Wycliffe Gordon and the International All Stars, 2016
- “Within These Gates of Mine” 2016
- “Somebody New” 2015
- “Signature Series” 2014
- “Hello Pops” 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-one total solo CDs
- Eight co-leader CDs
- Arrangements from his CD “Dreams of New Orleans” currently used in:
- “Race”—a biopic of track star Jesse Owens
- NCIS: New Orleans (episode 63)
- Manhattan (episode 111)
- White Rabbit Project
- Marsalis on Music
- 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.
- 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
- Member of the McDonald’s All-American High School Band, 1984
Awards & Achievements
2018 Presented with the “Louie Award” by the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
2017 International Trombone Association Award, which recognizes the highest level of creative and artistic achievement
ASCAP Plus Award 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 for his contributions as a composer.
Downbeat Magazine “Best Trombone” Award
- 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012
Jazz Journalists Association “Trombonist of the Year” Award
- Wycliffe Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association Award for Trombonist of the Year (2019, 2018, 2017, 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, Hungary
Named Artist of the Year (2015) by the Augusta Arts Council