Wynton Marsalis was born on October 18th 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up in a very musical family with his father being a Jazz pianist and a Jazz teacher.
At the age of 6 he received his first trumpet and was taught at the Ben Franklin Highschool and at the New Orleans Center Of Creative Art. By following the old Creole tradition he learned Jazz and Classic music as equal music styles which had a huge influence on his further development. He was a member of Danny Bakerīs Marching Band, various Funk groups but was also very successful with the New Orleans Civic Orchestra, The New York Philharmonics and even had huge solo successes under the leadership of Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Seiji Ozawa.
In 1979 he moved to New York where he was formed to a world class classic trumpet player. Art Blakey managed to introduce Jazz to Marsalis who finally fell for it. Never in the 1980īs has traditionalism in Jazz been so distinct as in Wynton Marsalisīs music.
He gave Jazz a classic style after the Free Jazz and Fusion periods and therefor set new standards in post-modern Jazz. Since Dizzy Gillespie nobody has blown the trumpet with such purity and unity which can be explained by Wyntonīs tendency to logic. Wynton even exceeds Dizzy in the purity of the sound and the warmth of his gesture. He masters to astonish the audience through a intellectual cooled mode of expression and his scientific view on Blues. Due to his classic education and his perfect handling of the trumpet, Marsalis at first rather used his technical then his improvisation skills. Soon afterwards he started to work with different rhythms and tempos, setting new standards for modern Jazz. In 1989 he, after the perfection of these Elements, he moved on to improve his sound. His need for musical development is based on his want to be an artist, recognised for his creativity. This is the reason why Wynton tries to include main European music aesthetics into Jazz while criticising modern Jazz forms.
Marsalisīs playing skill unites the best there is in Jazz music. The combination of Louis Armstrongīs rhythm, Dizzy Gillespieīs astonishing high pitched tones, Clifford Brown`s warmth for music and Miles Davisīs cool poetry makes him one of the best trumpet players ever. By 1983 he was already the superstar of the modern Mainstream Jazz.