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 (1967-05-29) May 29, 1967 (age 49)
Waynesboro, Georgia, U.S.
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 Gordon
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson

Wycliffe A. Gordon (born May 29, 1967) 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]

Early life and education[edit]

Gordon was born in Waynesboro, Georgia[2] into a strongly religious and musical background that influenced the early direction of his music. His father, Lucius Gordon (1936–1997), had been a church organist at several churches in Burke County, Georgia as well as a classical pianist and teacher. Gordon became particularly inspired in jazz in 1980, at age thirteen, listening to jazz recordings inherited from his great aunt.[2] The collection included a five-LP jazz anthology produced by Sony-Columbia. In particular, he was drawn to musicians like Louis Armstrong and the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens[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. He performed in New York City as part of the McDonald's High School All-American Band.[2] He then studied music at Florida A&M where he played in (among things) the marching band.[2]


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]


  • Slidin' Home (1999)
  • Blues of Summer (2000)
  • The Search (2000)
  • The Joyride (2003)
  • The Complete Joyride (2003)
  • In the Cross (2004)
  • Standards Only (2006)
  • BloozBluzeBlues (2007)
  • Slidin' Home Remastered (2008)
  • Originals Only Extended (2009)
  • Randy Sandkey's Jazz for Juniors (2009)
  • The Word (2011)
  • Hello Pops! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong (2011)
  • Dreams of New Orleans (2012)
  • The Intimate Ellington: Ballad and Blues (2013)
  • Somebody New (2015) [The Dimartino Osland Jazz Orchestra]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With John Allred

With Bob Kindred

With Marcus Roberts

With Randy Sandke

With Maurice Hines

  • Maurice Hines: To Nat "King" Cole With Love. Arbors. 2006. OCLC 71194466

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. ^ a b c d e Berger, Ed (May 2006). "Wycliffe Gordon: The Beautiful Soul of...". Jazz Times. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  3. ^ All About Jazz
  4. ^ Theme Music, 30th Anniversary Celebration of All Things Considered, NPR
  5. ^ Berlanga-Ryan, Esther. Interview — "Wycliffe Gordon: What This is All About", All About Jazz, 1 September 2010.

External links[edit]