Vincent Gardner

Vincent Gardner

 New York City, New York, USA
BandJazzAcoustic

Vincent Gardner is a hard swinging bop trombonist, with a unique vocal ability who has been a staple of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis band for almost 10 years.

Biography

Vincent Gardner (born in Chicago, Illinois) is an trombonist and composer. As a bandleader, Gardner has released four albums under the SteepleChase record label. He performs with his own groups frequently, in addition to being the lead trombonist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (which also features Wynton Marsalis). Gardner also performs often with his brother, trumpeter Derrick Gardner and his ensemble, The Jazz Prophets.

Being born into a musical family in which both his father, Burgess Gardner, a trumpeter who has played with many groups including Ray Charles, Count Basie, and Horace Silver, and his mother, a pianist and choir director, are both music educators, Gardner was surrounded by music at an early age. The family moved to East Lansing, Michigan when Gardner was five, while his mother and father completed their doctorate studies at Michigan State University, later settling in Hampton, VA. His mother being a church musician, he was at church often for services and choir rehearsals, and began singing in the choir as soon as he was of age, providing him with his earliest musical experiences.

As a beginning musician, Gardner started on the Violin, but soon switched to saxophone and French horn. Around age 13, since his father and brother both played trumpet, he decided to play trombone. He developed an interest in jazz music around the 11th grade after being selected to play in the Hampton All-City Jazz Ensemble, and being introduced to jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson by its director.

By the time he graduated from high school, he had made up his mind to pursue a career as a professional musician, and attended Florida A&M University, studying classical trombone and Music Education. In 1995 he transferred to The University of North Florida, and in 1996, Gardner obtained an undergraduate degree in Jazz Trombone Performance. He then moved to Brooklyn, New York to pursue his musical career, subsequently performing with several notable ensembles and musicians, including The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Illinois Jacquet, The Saturday Night Live Band, Matchbox 20, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, and Frank Foster. From 1998 through 2000, Gardner toured with Lauryn Hill, in support of her (5) time Grammy-award winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.Later in 2000 Gardner joined The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, with which he continues to perform.

Over the course of his affiliation with the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, he has contributed many arrangements and commissioned works for various performances of that ensemble. During the 2003-2004 academic year, Gardner became the Visiting instructor of Jazz Trombone at Michigan State University. He has continued to be an active educator ( having taught at Florida State University, The New School in New York City, and Julliard); clinician, musician, arranger, recording artist, and vocalist. In 2009 he was commissioned by Jazz At Lincoln Center to compose a work entitled: “The Jesse B. Semple Suite” which featured his original compositions intertwined with the short stories of author Langston Hughes featuring his character Jesse B. Semple. In 2011 Vincent Gardner was the Musical Director and Arranger for the critically acclaimed performance of Bird with Strings at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Discography


Elbow Room - 2004
The Good Book, Chapter 1 - 2007
Vin-slidin’ - 2008
Three Five - 2009
The Good Book, Chapter 2 - 2011

Set List

1) Jazz Standards (300 +)
2) Original Compositions
3) "Music of..." set list for major jazz composers & artist