Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is one of the jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. In 2006, he secured one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Tom Harrell’s working quintet. 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 a who’s-who of jazz musicians, 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 he has made several highly acclaimed studio recordings as bandleader. He is also a founding member of the collaborative group Black Art Jazz Collective, which is comprised of fellow rising star musicians and is dedicated to celebrating the origins of jazz and African American icons through originally composed music.
In addition to performing, Escoffery is dedicated to music education by presenting lectures and masterclasses on jazz music. He is currently the saxophone instructor for The New Jersey Performing Arts Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program, and in the fall of 2016, Escoffery was appointed lecturer of jazz improvisation and ensemble coach at the Yale School of Music as a part of Yale’s Jazz Initiative, the first of its kind for the university. The vast array of contributions he has made to the jazz world in such a short time leads seasoned industry professionals like Niel Tesser to write, “Pay special attention to tenor-man Wayne Escoffery, whose rapid development from album to album (and seemingly solo to solo) has given us a jazz hero for the coming decade.”