Wynton Marsalis is an American trumpeter and composer. He is a prominent jazz musician, and a well-known instrumentalist in classical music. He is also the Musical Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. A compilation of his series of inspirational letters to a young jazz musical student has been published as “To a Young Jazz Musician”.
As of 2006, Marsalis has made sixteen classical and more than thirty jazz recordings, has been awarded nine Grammys, between the genres and the Pulitzer Prize for Music. He has received commissions to compose for many dance companies, including Peter Martins at the New York City Ballet, Twyla Tharp for the American Ballet Theatre, and for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Marsalis collaborated with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to compose the string quartet, “At The Octoroon Balls”, and “A Fiddler’s Tale”. In 1997 he became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, for his epic oratorio, “Blood on the Fields”, on the subject of slavery.