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Wayne Escoffery

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Biography

Since moving to New York City in 2000, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has become one of the Jazz world's most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen.

At eleven Escoffery joined The New Haven Trinity Boys Choir and began taking saxophone lessons from Malcolm Dickinson. At sixteen he left the choir and began a more intensive study of the saxophone, attending the Jazzmobile in New York City, the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, and the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. During his senior year in high School, he attended the Artists Collective in Hartford, Connecticut. He met Jackie McLean, a well known alto saxophonist and founder of the jazz program at The Hartt School.

Escoffery was awarded a scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he studied with McLean for four years, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance summa cum laude in 1997. He then attended the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts (1997–1999). During this time he toured with Herbie Hancock and performed and studied with several jazz greats. In 1999 he graduated with a Masters degree and moved to New York to begin his professional career.

Since 2000 he has been working in New York City with Carl Allen, Eric Reed, and the Charles Mingus Big Band. Other musicians performed with include Ralph Peterson, Ben Riley, Ron Carter, Rufus Reid, Bill Charlap, Bruce Barth, Jimmy Cobb, and Eddie Henderson. He has worked with vocalists including Mary Stallings, Cynthia Scott, Nancie Banks, Laverne Butler, and Carolyn Leonhart. In addition to performing with his own Quartet and Quintet, Escoffery currently performs and tours with Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet, The Mingus Band, Abdullah Ibrahim's Akaya, The Carolyn Leonhart Group, and Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Music of Miles Davis. He is a member of The Tom Harrell Quintet.

 

Instrument

VIRT2003S | Virtuoso Tenor Saxophone, Silver Plated