2014 Downbeat Critics Poll Winner and Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is one of the Jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. Since 2006 he has been mostly associated with trumpet master Tom Harrell after securing one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Harrell’s working quintet. For the past decade Escoffery has toured the globe with the trumpeter, recorded seven CDs with The Tom Harrell Quintet and co-produced four of those releases. He has also been a member of The Mingus Dynasty, Big Band and Orchestra since 2000 and has made several recordings with the group. Over the years he has recorded and performed internationally with the who’s who in Jazz
including Ron Carter, Ben Riley, Abdulah Ibrahim, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Al Foster, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Rufus Reid, Wallace Roney and Herbie Hancock just to name a few. Escoffery leads his own groups which tour internationally and has made several highly acclaimed studio recordings with said groups. His current working quartet features pianist David Kikoski, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Ralph Peterson and has a release on the Smalls Live Record label. Escoffery is also a founding member of a collaborative group called Black Art Jazz Collective which is comprised of fellow rising star musicians of his generation and is dedicated to celebrating African American Icons through originally composed music.
Profession and title:
Lecturer, Yale School of Music