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Wycliffe Gordon

Wycliffe Gordon is a versatile trombonist who can sound like a New Orleans jazz veteran, a plunger-mute specialist from the 1930s, a gospel player, or a modern jazz improviser. Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, he began on the trombone when he was 12 and, after being willed his aunt’s record collection the following year, he discovered and immersed himself in jazz. While attending college, Gordon attended a workshop given by Wynton Marsalis. So impressed was Marsalis by what he heard of Gordon’s playing that it eventually led to the trombonist joining both the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in 1989.

Gordon flourished in both of those settings and became one of the most impressive of Marsalis’ sidemen and alumni. He has also had the opportunity to 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 trad jazz world. In addition, Gordon is a prolific composer and wrote a new score to the 1925 Paul Robeson silent film Body and Soul, and is currently working on several commissioned works for Jazzmobile and City of Columbus. His creative talent as a musician is wide-reaching and he currently plays trumpet, euphonium, tuba and didgeridoo, and often takes a spirited vocal.

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