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Wynton’s Blog

  • We lost a true missionary and minister of our music this past week in Roy Hargrove

    Posted on November 5th, 2018

    We lost a true missionary and minister of our music this past week in Roy Hargrove. Although he faced an uphill battle with his health over the years, it didn’t deter him or even slow him down from doing what he was undoubtedly born to do – minister through music. That he did until the end.   Keep reading »

  • One of the greatest exemplars of this axiom is Betty ‘Bebop’ Carter

    Posted on October 17th, 2018

    This is from The Road Ahead 12 Steps to Achieving a Jazz Way of Conducting Business. I wrote this in 2011 during a difficult time for Jazz at Lincoln Center. The first step is: embody the music you serve. Following that heading was a technical breakdown of its meaning and a story that exemplified the principle in practice.   Keep reading »

  • Celebrating Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 51st Anniversary

    Posted on September 21st, 2018

    I had the honor of playing on Mister Rogers’ show in 1986. Never before or since, have I interacted with a staff that was as enthusiastic, complimentary, and fired up about their boss. From the airport to the studio each and every person gushed about Fred’s human qualities. And they weren’t at all exaggerating.   Keep reading »

  • In memory of Kofi Annan

    Posted on August 18th, 2018

    A man of intelligence, humor and grace. A man with a big big heart. A trumpeter for humanity and a believer in our ascendancy through collective creativity. (I hope he doesn’t play the trumpet for the archangel Gabrielle)   Keep reading »

  • The soul quotient in the world is lower today.

    Posted on August 16th, 2018

    Absolute and thorough soul through and through. Not just the Queen of song, Ms. Aretha Franklin was a fount of great stories delivered with downhome wit, intelligence and incredible insight. The soul quotient in the world is lower today.   Keep reading »

  • To all who were generous to post comments about a tweet from my interview with Jonathan Capehart

    Posted on May 23rd, 2018

    1. When someone makes a general comment and does not say ALL, it is assumed that they mean some. 2. I am not an expert on any form of music, including my own, but have a considered opinion and have the right to express it.   Keep reading »

  • Our young people showing love, respect, and appreciation for their band directors

    Posted on May 14th, 2018

    After three days of rehearsals, masterclasses, and sectionals, tasting Manhattan’s nightlife, listening to 14 other bands, playing excellently on difficult music under the pressure of competition, and an award presentation and concert that lasted from 7:30pm to 11 pm, this is what kids felt about the investment of their band directors and their collective families.   Keep reading »

  • This is a story about an exchange I had with Sarah Vaughan when playing with Boston Pops

    Posted on October 20th, 2017 | 1

    I want to express gratitude and thanks to all of the parents and kids and young musicians and trumpeters and (not as young) folks that I have had the honor of meeting, talking to, teaching and learning from down through these many years. These voluminous interactions have defined a large portion of my life and have been so filled with warmth, love and basic human feeling that there is no way to convey the depth of my appreciation.   Keep reading »

  • Jazz in Marciac, Happy 40th Anniversary

    Posted on August 11th, 2017

    As a New Orleanian, I am a non-French speaking extended family member of France. As a trumpeter, I began studying from the book of Frenchman Jean Baptiste Arban at 6 years old, and still today, strive to play his exercises correctly. I am also honored to be one of the many descendants of the great virtuoso Maurice André whose sparkling playing inspired a world of trumpet players to pursue excellence.   Keep reading »

  • There’s nothing like a good 11-hour flight for someone who hates to fly

    Posted on July 7th, 2017 | 2

    Our travel from Prague to Shanghai, China was long and smooth. There’s nothing like a good 11-hour flight for someone who hates to fly. And nothing like a stressful, uncomfortable environment to inspire wholesale concentration on some tedious detail-congested work. I started working on my Blues Symphony score that I tinker with every summer as a hobby, but little did I know that the presence of this score would have benefits far beyond its contents. For about nine strong hours, it helped me to forget that we were on an airplane.   Keep reading »