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. He began his professional NY career touring and recording with The Eric Reed Septet. In 2001 he became a steady member of the Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, The Lonnie Plaxico Group, and Abdulah Ibrahim’s Akaya.
Then in 2004 Grammy award winning producer, arranger and trumpet player Don Sickler asked Wayne to be a part of Ben Riley’s Monk legacy Septet; an innovative piano-less group dedicated to carrying on the legacy of jazz great Thelonious Monk. At this time Wayne was also touring with Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Music of the Masters consisting of two groups of musicians hand picked by Wynton Marsalis. The Music of Dexter Gordon featured Wayne with Saxophonists Jimmy Greene and Gerry Welden; backed by Dexter Gordon alumni George Cables, Rufus Reid and Leroy Williams. The Music of Miles Davis featured Wayne with trumpet great Eddie Henderson and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson in the front line; backed by David Kikoski, Ed Howard and Miles Davis veteran Jimmy Cobb on drums.
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“[A] young, self-assured, hard-swinging tenor saxophonist.”
—Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
“A powerful, passionate player.” Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
“This is a talented youngster capable of long, flowing lines,
noteworthy creativity, and a broad range
of expressiveness.” —J. Robert Bragonier, All About Jazz
“One of the most talented, poetic artists.” —Sue Mingus,
widow of Bassist Charles Mingus
“His sound is arguably a contemporary mix of Coltrane,
Shorter and Henderson influences, but is
already personal... His technique is superb...” —Tony Hall,
“The music is in good hands with him, for sure.” —Rufus
Reid - Bassist
“a skillful, musical player” —Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes
“a thoughtful and ambitious composer” —Ronnie D.
Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide
To teach private saxophone lessons, Jazz ensemble
classes, theory classes, Jazz improvisation classes,
Humanities/Music History Courses or any music related
Wayne has been fortunate enough to study with some of the
greatest jazz musicians in the world.
Some of them include Jackie McLean, Ron Carter, George
Coleman, Clark Terry, and Barry Harris. He
also has first hand experience playing with word class jazz
musicians such as Herbie Hancock and Ron
While presently a working part of the New York City Jazz
scene, Wayne leads his own group and
performs internationally with The Mingus Band, and Abdullah
Ibrahim. He has experience introducing
music to all ages and has learned the history of American
Music from many of the innovators of the last
1993-97 Bachelor of Music, The Hartt School
1997-99 Master of Music, The New England Conservatory
1997-99 Diploma of Completion, The Thelonious Monk
Institute of Jazz Performance
1994-97 Instructor, The Artist’s Collective Private
saxophone instructor, theory teacher and history
teacher. Ages 10 – 35. Taught proficiency on the
saxophone, Jazz improvisation, basic Jazz History,
and all levels of theory.
1997-99 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Ambassador; The
Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz
Ambassadors went to different schools in and out of the
country to give master classes on
Jazz/American Music History and Jazz Improvisation. This
included trips to New Hampshire, Washington
D.C., South America and Jamaica.
1999-present Private Instructor, Bromley Studios Private
saxophone and beginner flute instruction.
1999-present Private Instructor, City College Private
saxophone instruction at the College
2000-present Adjunct Faculty, The Hartt School Private
saxophone instruction at the college level.
Assistant to Prof. Jackie McLean during saxophone