Take Five with Wynton Marsalis

Mark Scoop Malinowski By

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Status: Nine-time Grammy Award-winning jazz performer.

DOB: October 18, 1961 In: New Orleans, LA

Hobbies/Interests: "Play basketball. I like to read. I like to play chess."

Favorite Movies: "[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 [1957]."

Favorite TV Shows: "Never looked at TV like that...Monday Night Football [laughs]."

First Job: "Cuttin' grass (age 8)."

First Car: "Volvo."

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 school—13 or 14."

Favorite Meal: "Gumbo."

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: "Grape Nut Flakes."

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Strawberry."

Pre-Performance Feeling: "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."

Childhood Dream: "To be either a chemist or a basketball player."

Favorite Vacation Spot: "I never go on vacation."

Musical Tastes: "I like Beethoven. I like Bach. I like Duke Ellington."

Favorite Live Performers: "Marcus Roberts—a great pianist from Florida. Many great jazz musicians like Hank Jones—phenomenal. A lot like that, a lot of people."

People Qualities Most Admired: "Integrity. Humor. Empathy for other people. Originality— like don't really give a **** what other people think. But with empathy too."

Career Accomplishments: 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.

Photo Credit: Rob Waymen
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