Biofile with Wynton Marsalis
Nine-time Grammy Award-winning jazz performer.
October 18, 1961 In: New Orleans, LA
"Play basketball. I like to read. I like to play chess."
"[Pause]...see, it's so many. Let me see if I can...any Hitchcock. Elie Kazan's. John Ford. [Pause]...favorite movies...there's so many good ones...I can't remember the name. It has Andy Griffith in it. He plays like a man of the people that becomes corrupted. [Marsalis calls a friend on phone for the name of movie]...A Face In The Crowd ."
Favorite TV Shows:
"Never looked at TV like that...Monday Night Football [laughs]."
"Cuttin' grass (age 8)."
Early Performing Memory:
"I remember big dances, we used to play at New Orleans, a department store called Gaylord's, had open space at the top. Four bands set up, we'd play around the clock. Packed with people. Finest women in New Orleans. I was in high school13 or 14."
Favorite Breakfast Cereal:
"Grape Nut Flakes."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
"Very natural. Just like I'm talking to you."
Greatest Career Moment:
"No. It's no moment. I've had so many. No moments, man, many great moments. Many."
Most Painful Moment:
"I've had many of them too [laughs]. Most painful moment...I'd say several of the most painful moments was somebody I was close to died before I talked to them. That happened to me two or three times."
Last Book Read:
"It's a book on King Leopold. About his conquest of the Belgian Congo. Into The Heart of Darkness." [Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey into the Heart of Darkness (Three Rivers Press, 2001), by Jeffrey Tayler]
Song(s) or Album(s) Most Proud Of:
"I think everything. I'm very serious about whatever I do. So I don't know. Some stuff comes out better than other stuff but I work hard on all of it."
Performance You Were At Your Very Best:
"No. I never know."
"To be either a chemist or a basketball player."
Favorite Vacation Spot:
"I never go on vacation."
"I like Beethoven. I like Bach. I like Duke Ellington."
Favorite Live Performers:
"Marcus Robertsa great pianist from Florida. Many great jazz musicians like Hank Jonesphenomenal. A lot like that, a lot of people."
People Qualities Most Admired:
"Integrity. Humor. Empathy for other people. Originalitylike don't really give a **** what other people think. But with empathy too."
At 14 was invited to perform with the New Orleans Philharmonic; Attended Julliard School of Music; Toured with Herbie Hancock throughout USA and Japan; Has performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Edison, Clark Terryy, Sonny Rollins, Has sold nearly 5,000,000 copies of his recordings worldwide, Nine-time Grammy Award-winner.