Wynton Marsalis Biography, Age, Family, Height, and Net Worth

Wynton Marsalis Biography

Wynton Marsalis born Wynton Learson Marsalis is an American trumpeter, composer, teacher, and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is a nine time Grammy Award winner and his composition titled Blood on the Fields was the premier jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

He is the only musician to win a Grammy Award in jazz and classical during the same year.

Over the years, he has promoted classical and jazz music, often to young audiences . Marsalis father is jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr. (pianist), grandson of Ellis Marsalis Sr., and brother of Branford (saxophonist), Delfeayo (trombonist), and Jason (drummer).

Wynton Marsalis Age

Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961 and is 61 years old in 2022.

Height|How Tall Is Wynton?

Wynton stands at a height of 6′ 5”(1.95m).

Family| Parents |Brothers

Wynton’s was born to father Ellis Marsalis Jr. and mother Dolores Marsalis. His father was a pianist and music teacher.

Branford Marsalis is the older brother while Jason,Mboya Kenyatta and Delfeayo are younger. They are a musical family as all three are jazz musicians. Marsalis received his first trumpet at the age of 6 from his father’s friend Al Hirt. 

Wynton Marsalis Art Blakey

In 1980, he toured Europe as a member of the Art Blakey big band, becoming a member of The Jazz Messengers while still remaining with Blakey until 1982.

Wynton changed his mind about his career and turned to jazz. He has said that years of playing Blakey influenced his decision. He recorded for the first time with Blakey.

Wynton Marsalis Quartet

Marsalis recorded his first solo album after signing a contract with Columbia. He went on to establish a quartet in 1982  with his brother Branford, Kenny Kirkland, Charnett Moffett, and Jeff “Tain” Watts.

His brother and Kenny Kirkland left  to tour with Sting after just three years.This prompted Wynton to form another quartet, this time with Marcus Roberts on piano, Robert Hurst on double bass, and Watts on drums.

After a while the band expanded to include Wessell Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, Herlin Riley, Reginald Veal, and Todd Williams.

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis |Lincoln Center

Marsalis helped start the Classical Jazz summer concert series at Lincoln Center in New York City in the year 1987.

The  concert series were successful which led to Jazz at Lincoln Center becoming a department at Lincoln Center, which then ameliorated to becoming an independent entity in 1996 with organizations such as the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera.
Marsalis was promoted to being the artistic director of the Center and the musical director of the band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The orchestra performs at its home venue, Rose Hall, goes on tour, visits schools, appears on radio and television, and through Blue Engine Records, produces albums.
In 2011, Marsalis and rock guitarist Eric Clapton performed together in a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert. The concert was recorded and released as the album Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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Net Worth

Wynton’s wealth is estimated to be $15 Million dollars as of 2023.

He makes most of his money from concerts and tours as well as through the sales of his publications and productions.

Awards and Honors

Wynton Marsalis George Foster Peabody Award

Marsalis hosted the educational program Marsalis on Music on public television in the year 1995. Coincidentally,  National Public Radio was also broadcasting his series Making the Music.

This catapulted his name to fame,becoming a household name. Both programs won the George Foster Peabody Award, the highest award given in journalism.

CBS This Morning

Marsalis was named cultural correspondent for CBS This Morning In December 2011. He is a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board.

Wynton Marsalis Juilliard

In regards to Juilliard, he serves as director of the Juilliard Jazz Studies program. In 2015, Cornell University appointed him A.D. White Professor-at-Large

Wynton Marsalis  DownBeat Hall of Fame.

After his first album came out in 1982, Marsalis won polls in DownBeat magazine for Musician of the Year, Best Trumpeter, and Album of the Year.

In 2017 he was one of the youngest members to be inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame.

Wynton Marsalis Pulitzer Prize |Blood on the Fields

In 1997, he became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. In a note to him, Zarin Mehta wrote, “I was not surprised at your winning the Pulitzer Prize for Blood on the Fields.

It is a broad, beautifully painted canvas that impresses and inspires. It speaks to us all…I’m sure that, somewhere in the firmament, Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong and legions of others are smiling down on you.”
Wynton Marsalis has won the National Medal of Arts, the National Humanities Medal, and been named an NEA Jazz Master.

Wynton Marsalis Louis Armstrong

He was given the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal and the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts.
He was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement and was dubbed an Honorary Dreamer by the I Have a Dream Foundation. The New York Urban League awarded Marsalis the Frederick Douglass Medallion for distinguished leadership.

The American Arts Council presented him with the Arts Education Award.In 2008 he received France’s highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and the city of Marciac in France erected a bronze statue in his honor.

The French Ministry of Culture gave him the rank of Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature.

Wynton Marsalis Honorary Degrees

He has received honorary degrees from New York University, State University of New York. Columbia, Connecticut College,Howard, Northwestern, Princeton, Vermont, and the Harvard University.

Wynton Marsalis Grammy Awards

In 1983, at a young age of 22,Marsalis became the only musician to win Grammy Awards in two categories. Both in jazz and classical music during the same year. 

At the award ceremonies the next year, he won again in both categories. Over the years, he has won in various categories and they include:
Best Jazz Instrumental Solo

  • Think of One (1983)
  • Hot House Flowers (1984)
  • Black Codes (From the Underground) (1985)

Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

  • Black Codes (From the Underground) (1985)
  • J Mood (1986)
  • Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. I (1987)

Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)

  • Raymond Leppard (conductor), Wynton Marsalis and the National Philharmonic Orchestra for Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in E Flat/Leopold Mozart: Trumpet Concerto in D/Hummel: Trumpet Concerto in E Flat (1983)
  • Raymond Leppard (conductor), Wynton Marsalis and the English Chamber Orchestra for Wynton Marsalis, Edita Gruberova: Handel, Purcell, Torelli, Fasch, Molter (1984)

Best Spoken Word Album for Children

  • Listen to the Storytellers (2000)

Wynton Marsalis Books

  • Sweet Swing Blues on the Road with Frank Stewart (1994)
  • Marsalis on Music (1995)
  • Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life with Carl Vigeland (2002)
  • To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road with Selwyn Seyfu Hinds (2004)
  • Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits with Paul Rogers (2007)
  • Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life with Geoffrey Ward (2008)
  • Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure with Paul Rogers (2012)

Wife |Children  |Wynton Marsalis Jr

Despite the fact that Wynton has never married,he has four sons.His son Jasper Armstrong is a music  producer ,professionaly known as Slouson Malone.

He had his third son; Jasper Armstrong, with the performer Victoria Rowell. His eldest children live adjacent, in New Rochelle, and his most youngest resides in LA.

Discography |Songs |Albums |Best Albums

Approximately seven million copies of his recordings have been sold worldwide.He has toured in 30 countries and on every continent except Antarctica

Wynton Marsalis as leader

1982 Wynton Marsalis
1982 Fathers & Sons
1983 Think of One
1983 Haydn, Hummel, L. Mozart: Trumpet Concertos, with National Philharmonic Orchestra
1984 Wynton Marsalis Plays Handel, Purcell, Torelli, Fasch, and Molter, with the English Chamber Orchestra
1984 Hot House Flowers
1985 Black Codes (From the Underground)
1986 Tomasi, Jolivet: Trumpet Concertos, with London Philharmonic Orchestra
1986 J Mood
1987 Carnaval, with Eastman Wind Ensemble
1987 Marsalis Standard Time, Vol. I
1988 Live at Blues Alley
1988 Baroque Music for Trumpets, with the English Chamber Orchestra
1989 Works by Husa, Copland, Vaughan Williams, and Hindemith, with Eastman Wind Ensemble
1989 Crescent City Christmas Card
1990 Standard Time, Vol. 3: The Resolution of Romance
1990 Tune in Tomorrow
1990 Haydn: Three Favorite Concertos, with National Philharmonic Orchestra
1991 Standard Time, Vol. 2: Intimacy Calling
1991 Thick in the South: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 1
1991 Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2
1991 Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 3
1992 Baroque Duet, with Kathleen Battle and Orchestra of St. Luke’s
1993 Resolution to Swing
1993 On the Twentieth Century with Judith Lynn Stillman
1994 Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: The Fire of the Fundamentals
1994 The London Concert, with the English Chamber Orchestra
1995 Joe Cool’s Blues with Ellis Marsalis
1996 In Gabriel’s Garden with the English Chamber Orchestra
1997 Blood on the Fields with the JLCO
1997 Jump Start and Jazz
1998 Standard Time, Vol. 5: The Midnight Blues
1999 Live in Swing City: Swingin with the Duke with the JLCO
1999 Standard Time, Vol. 4: Marsalis Plays Monk
1999 Live at the Village Vanguard
2000 Selections from the Village Vanguard Box
2000 The Marciac Suite
2002 All Rise, with the JLCO and the Los Angeles Philharmonic
2003 The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration
2004 Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
2005 A Love Supreme, with JLCO
2005 Don’t Be Afraid: The Music of Charles Mingus, with JLCO
2007 Congo Square, with JLCO
2007 The War, A Ken Burns Film, The Soundtrack
2008 Standards & Ballads (collection of previously released tracks)
2008 Two Men with the Blues with Willie Nelson
2009 He and She
2009 Christmas Jazz Jam
2010 Portrait in Seven Shades
2010 Vitoria Suite with JLCO
2011 Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center
2011 Selections from Swingin’ into the 21st
2012 The Music of America
2013 The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis
2015 Live in Cuba, with JLCO
2015 Big Band Holidays, with JLCO
2016 The Abyssinian Mass, with JLCO
2017 The Music of John Lewis with JLCO

Wynton Marsalis With Art Blakey

Live at Montreux and Northsea (Timeless, 1980)
Art Blakey in Sweden (Amigo, 1981)
Album of the Year (Timeless, 1981)
Straight Ahead (Concord, 1981)
Keystone 3 (Concord Jazz, 1982)
Wynton, recorded live at Bubba’s Jazz Restaurant October 11, 1980. Who’s Who in Jazz WWLP-21024 (digital master, 1983)

Wynton Marsalis With Chico Freeman

Destiny’s Dance (Contemporary, 1981)

Wynton Marsalis With Dizzy Gillespie

To Diz with Love (Telarc, 1992)

Wynton Marsalis With Herbie Hancock

Quartet (1981)
With Joe Henderson
Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (1992)

Wynton Marsalis With Shirley Horn

You Won’t Forget Me (1991, Verve)
Here’s to Life (1992, Verve)

Wynton Marsalis With Elvin Jones

Tribute to John Coltrane “A Love Supreme” (Columbia, 1992)

Wynton Marsalis With the Modern Jazz Quartet

MJQ & Friends: A 40th Anniversary Celebration (Atlantic, 1994)

Wynton Marsalis With Frank Morgan

Mood Indigo (Antilles, 1989)

Wynton Marsalis With Ted Nash

Rhyme & Reason (Arabesque, 1999)

Wynton Marsalis With Marcus Roberts

Deep in the Shed (credited as E. Dankworth) (Novus, 1990)

Wynton Marsalis With The Sachal Ensemble

Song of Lahore (Universal, 2016) 

Wynton Marsalis Twitter

The @jazzdotorg Orchestra In soundcheck now at Tianjin Grand Theater pic.twitter.com/NOofYitYEh

— Wynton Marsalis (@wyntonmarsalis) March 19, 2019