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Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is one of New Orleans' most celebrated and beloved musicians. As a trumpet player, composer, educator, and jazz ambassador, Wynton has helped to define the sound of modern jazz. From his early days as a bandleader in the 1980s to his more recent writing projects for both classical and jazz ensembles, there is no shortage of amazing tunes that have come from the pen of this musical genius.

One of Wynton's most notable achievements was winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1997 for Blood on the Fields — a three-hour long oratorio about slavery. He was the first artist to ever receive this honor since its inception in 1943! He has also earned nine Grammys over his career so far and continues to build upon his legacy every year.

Wynton's music is as much rooted in tradition as it is in innovation; take for example his use of "street sounds" – blending hip-hop beats with smooth jazz melodies – which can be heard on albums such as The Magic Hour or Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. Throughout his career, he has stayed true to the mission he set out when he moved from New York City to New Orleans - “to create new music that would look back at the rich history of Jazz while pushing forward its artistic boundaries”.

Outside of making music, Wynton is also dedicated to giving back; he serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and runs a variety of educational programs designed to bring more students into contact with Jazz music. His foundation also recently opened an extension center in his hometown dedicated solely towards offering quality after-school programming for children aged 8-17 interested in learning about music culture in general.

Wynton Marsalis is truly an innovator who continues to inspire fans around the world with his passion for creating exciting new sounds while paying homage to New Orleans' rich musical heritage. In him we find hope that our city will continue to produce great art - like Wynton himself - far into future generations.

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