A world-renowned trombonist and multi-instrumentalist, and former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis Septet, Wycliffe Gordon is also Director of Jazz Studies at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. His 2019 Trombonist of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association was his twelfth, an unprecedented record among trombone players. In addition to enjoying an extremely successful solo career, Gordon tours with his quintet—Wycliffe Gordon & His International All-Stars— headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers around the world. This is the group’s SMF debut, though Waynesboro native Gordon has been a regular presence as a commissioned artist, bandleader, soloist and educator since 2003.
For the past few years, Christian Sands has been touring the world with a trio that includes bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn. Sands’ playing draws upon an extensive vocabulary of jazz and world music idioms, especially South American and Afro-Cuban styles, all while maintaining a strong sense of understatement, sensitivity, taste and swing. “I like the freedom of the trio format,” says Sands. “It’s more dramatic to me. It’s a smaller entity but with a big personality. I can fit into different situations dynamically, compositionally.”
“Wycliffe Gordon can outperform nearly anyone playing jazz.”