Wycliffe Gordon

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Wycliffe Gordon
Wycliffe Gordon.jpg
Photo by Frank Kramer
Background information
Birth name Wycliffe Gordon
Also known as "Pine Cone"
Born May 29, 1967
Origin Waynesboro, Georgia
Genres Jazz
Instruments trombone, didgeridoo, also trumpet, tuba, Piano and vocals
Labels WJ3
Criss Cross
Associated acts Randy Sandke, Maurice Hines, Wynton Marsalis
Website www.wycliffegordon.com

Wycliffe A. Gordon (born May 29, 1967 in Waynesboro, Georgia) is an American jazz trombonist, arranger, composer, band leader, and music educator at the collegiate-conservatory level. Gordon also plays didgeridoo, trumpet, tuba, piano, and sings.[1]


Gordon came from a strongly religious and musical background that influenced the early direction of his music. His late father, Lucius Gordon (1936–1997), had been a church organist at several churches in Burke County, Georgia. His father had also been a classical pianist and teacher. Gordon became particularly inspired in jazz at age thirteen, 1980, by listening to jazz recordings inherited from his great-aunt. The collection included a five-LP jazz anthology produced by Sony-Columbia. In particular, he was drawn to musicians like Louis Armstrong[2] At that age, he was attending Sego Junior High School in Augusta, Georgia, where his band director was trombonist Don Milford. Gordon graduated in 1985 from Butler High School in Augusta.

His early works as a professional were with Wynton Marsalis, but in recent years he has expanded beyond swing and has experimented with new instruments. The strongest example of this might be The Search where he plays didgeridoo and covers Thelonious Monk songs.[3] He has also played Gospel music.

In 1995, Gordon arranged and orchestrated the theme song for NPR's All Things Considered.[4] Gordon's arrangement and orchestration is the third version of the widely recognized melody composed in 1971 by Donald Joseph Voegeli (1920–2009).

Blues Back Records was an American independent jazz label founded by Gordon in 2006 — coinciding with the release of his Rhythm On My Mind album, a collaboration with bassist Jay Leonhart. His desire for full artistic control was the impetus for creating Blues Back. It was during a meeting with Leonhart while Gordon composition "I Want My Blues Back" played in the background, that the two laughed and decided on the name for the company. BluesBack had produced other artists in Wycliffe's universe who met Gordon's criteria for originality. The company, Blues Back Records, Inc., a New York corporation, became inactive in 2011.[5]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With John Allred

With Marcus Roberts

With Randy Sandke

With Maurice Hines

With Ron Westray

With Chip White

  • Double Dedication
  • More Dedications
  • Personal Dedications & Percussive Tributes


  1. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, Vol. 2 (of three volumes), edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld, London: Macmillan Publishers (2002) OCLC 46956628
  2. ^ Jazz Times
  3. ^ All About Jazz
  4. ^ NPR: Theme Music, 30th Anniversary Celebration of All Things Considered
  5. ^ Interview — Wycliffe Gordon: What This is All About, by Esther Berlanga-Ryan, All About Jazz, September 1, 2010

External links[edit]