Born: October 19, 1980 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Since graduating from the Monk Institute, widely renowned as the highest-level jazz education program in the world, Gordon has been making waves in both traditional and modern jazz circles, all from his home base in New York City. His unique creative voice blends influences that span a full century: from the traditional/early jazz of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke to the modern jazz of the new millenium.
BACKGROUND As an undergraduate, Gordon studied jazz composition and performance at Berklee College of Music, where he recorded with Danilo Perez, co-arranged and recorded with Tiger Okoshi, and performed with Max Weinberg, Jimmy Heath, Makoto Ozone, Bob Mintzer, George Garzone, and Ralph Peterson. Under the tutelage of Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Joanne Brackeen, Hal Crook, Tiger Okoshi, Phil Wilson, Ed Tomassi, and Dave Santoro, among others, Gordon graduated in 2007 with a full scholarship and top departmental awards in both jazz composition and performance.
Following Berklee, Gordon was selected as one of just seven fellows at the inaugural New Orleans class of the Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance, where, under the artistic direction of Terence Blanchard, he and his colleagues honed their skills at performing, composing, and teaching. They gave concerts, clinics, and private lessons in Louisiana as well as around the globe, including New Delhi, Mumbai, the Panama Jazz Festival, and Hollywood. Through the Institute, Gordon studied and performed with some of greatest living masters of jazz and beyond: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chaka Khan, Zakir Hussain, George Benson, Ravi Shankar, Shankar Mahadevan, Brian Blade, George Duke, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Danilo Perez, Lewis Nash, Ellis Marsalis, Buster Williams, Nicholas Payton, John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Coleman, Barry Harris, Kurt Elling, Nnenna Freelon, James Genus, Kendrick Scott, Brice Winston, and artistic director Terence Blanchard.
TRADITIONAL/EARLY JAZZ While at the Monk Institute, Gordon co-founded the New Orleans Moonshiners, a group described in the press as a trad jazz band with new souls that has taken the area by storm, gaining a huge fan base and lots of critical acclaim, and had their east coast debut at Lincoln Center in 2010. Their second album, including four of Gordon's originals, was nominated for traditional jazz album of the year by New Orlean's Offbeat magazine. In New York, Gordon leads the Grand St. Stompers, a traditional jazz band that performs around the nation. On the west coast, Gordon frequently appears as guest artist at jazz festivals and as leader of the Au Brothers Jazz Band. In addition, Gordon maintains a busy schedule playing at concerts, dances, festivals, exchanges, and camps, with popular groups including Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, Gordon Webster, Baby Soda, Tamar Korn & Friends, and Glenn Crytzer.
MODERN JAZZ In the modern vein, Gordon has performed with Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Ellis and Jason Marsalis, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Lewis Nash, and George Benson; toured internationally with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, and George Duke; and recorded with the Danilo Perez Big Band and Grammy winner Brian Blade, among others. Currently, Gordon records and tours internationally with tenor saxophonist and Altazor winner Melissa Aldana's chordless quartet. His musical tours in both traditional and modern jazz arenas have taken him to India, Japan, Australia, England, France, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Israel, and Panama.
WRITING/PRODUCING In addition to producing and writing two albums for the Grand St. Stompers, Gordon has written big band arrangements for Terence Blanchard, co-arranged and recorded with Tiger Okoshi, transcribed for Chaka Khan, and completed several commissions for the 3rd-stream Blue Moon Ensemble. In 2013, Gordon is currently producing a debut album for the Au Brothers Jazz Band, and is serving as Musical Director, conductor, and arranger for a genre-blending forthcoming album by Carmen París, featuring big band jazz arrangements of Spanish jota songs. Gordon is recipient of an ASCAP Plus Award.
TEACHING Gordon has served as guest lecturer at Loyola University of New Orleans, taught at UC Berkeley, been guest artist for Jazz at Lincoln Center's WeBop program, served as Visiting Artist at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, served as clinician and adjudicator at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival, taught at countless music camps, and given clinics in New Orleans, New York, Panama, Finland, and Japan.
Awards:ASCAP Plus Award, 2012
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Willing to teach:
Gordon is available in the greater New York City area for private lessons and other teaching engagements. For over a decade, he has taught private lessons, sectionals, ensembles, clinics, and school assemblies, at music camps, public schools, colleges, and jazz festivals worldwide, and helped students ranging from early grade school to adult professionals to unlock their full potential as musicians. Instruction topics can be customized for virtually any level and age group, and can include: jazz improvisation, trumpet and brass technique, jazz piano, ensemble playing, jazz fundamentals, jazz theory, specific styles (classical, traditional jazz, bebop, modern jazz, fusion, latin), composition/arranging, ear training. Gordon is a graduate of both the renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (M.M.) and Berklee College of Music (B.A. in Jazz Composition), where he studied with jazz legends such as Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Danilo Perez, Lewis Nash, Ellis Marsalis, Buster Williams, Nicholas Payton, John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kenny Barron, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Coleman, Barry Harris, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Tiger Okoshi, and Hal Crook. His professional credits include touring internationally with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, and George Duke; performing with Wayne Shorter, George Benson, Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Zakir Hussain, and Max Weinberg; writing for Terence Blanchard, Tiger Okoshi, and Chaka Khan; and recording with Danilo Perez. For more information and a list of present and past teaching engagements, please visit GordonAuMusic.com.
Instruction topics can be customized for virtually any level and age group, and can include: jazz improvisation, trumpet and brass technique, jazz piano, ensemble playing, jazz fundamentals, jazz theory, specific styles (classical, traditional jazz, bebop, modern jazz, fusion, latin), composition/arranging, ear training. Past clinics have included: - Jazz and New Orleans // Garden House School, New York, NY - The Music of Louis Armstrong // Garden House School, New York, NY - Traditional Jazz // Arden Middle School, El Camino High School, and Dewey Elementary School, Sacramento, CA - The Music of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong // PS 232 Lindenwood, Howard Beach, NY - Traditional Jazz Styles, Roles, and Improvisation // New Orleans Center For Creative Arts - Practicing Balance in Jazz Improvisation // New Orleans Center For Creative Arts - Techniques for Motif Development in Improvisation // New Orleans Center For Creative Arts - Ear Training Exercises // Loyola University Trumpet Masterclass, New Orleans - Introduction to Jazz Arranging: Voicings for Four Horns // Loyola University, New Orleans