The Wayne Escoffery Quartet “Vortex”

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Wednesday 5 th June 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Downbeat Critics Poll Winner and Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is one of the Jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen and has been hailed by Jazziz Magazine as “One of modern Jazz’s foremost saxophonists”. The London born, New York based saxophonist wears his credentials on his sleeve having been a member of The Tom Harrell Quintet for a decade, The Mingus Big Band for two decades and shared the stage and recorded with greats Ron Carter, Eddie Henderson, Ben Riley, Herbie Hancock, Eric Reed, Al Foster, Monty Alexander, Randy Brecker and many others. The Financial Times says “His sound is rounded, warm and subtly dark-hued while his muscular articulation is steeped in generations of modern Jazz cutting contests.” This show will be Escoffery’s first appearance at Pizza Express and he comes with his long time bandmate from the Tom Harrell Quintet Danny Grissett, as well as bassist Josh Ginsburg and drummer Jason Brown with whom he has collaborated since moving to New York City back in 1999. This is not to be missed!

“A powerful, passionate player.” Ben Ratliff - The New York Times

“His sound is arguably a contemporary mix of Coltrane, Shorter and Henderson influences, but is already personal...His technique is superb...” Tony Hall – Jazzwise Magazine

2014 Downbeat Critics Poll Winner and Grammy Award winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is one of the Jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. Since 2006 he has been mostly associated with trumpet master Tom Harrell after securing one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Harrell’s working quintet.

For the past decade Escoffery has toured the globe with the trumpeter, recorded seven CDs with The Tom Harrell Quintet and co-produced four of those releases. He has also been a member of The Mingus Dynasty, Big Band and Orchestra since 2000 and has made several recordings with the group. Over the years he has recorded and performed internationally with the who’s who in Jazz
including Ron Carter, Ben Riley, Abdulah Ibrahim, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Al Foster, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Rufus Reid, Wallace Roney and Herbie Hancock just to name a few.

Escoffery leads his own groups which tour internationally and has made several highly acclaimed studio recordings with said
groups. His current working quartet features pianist David Kikoski, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Ralph Peterson and has a release on the Smalls Live Record label. Escoffery is also a founding member of a collaborative group called Black Art Jazz Collective which is comprised of fellow rising star musicians of his generation and is dedicated to celebrating African American Icons through originally composed music.

The group’s most recent recording Black Art Jazz Collective Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme received 4.5 stars in the October, 2016 issue of Downbeat Magazine. In addition to performing, Escoffery is dedicated to music education and presents lectures and masterclasses on Jazz music. He is currently the saxophone instructor for The New Jersey Performing Arts Wells fargo Jazz for Teens programin and in the Fall of 2016 was appointed Lecturer of Jazz Improvisation and ensemble coach at the Yale
School of Music as a part of Yale Universitiy’s new Jazz Initiative, the first of its kind for the University. The vast array of contributions Wayne Escoffery has made to the Jazz world in such a short time leads seasoned industry professionals like Niel Tesser to write “ Pay special attention to tenor man Wayne Escoffery whose rapid development - from album to album (and seemingly solo to solo) - has given us a jazz hero for the coming decade.

“Escoffery’s playing is impassioned and intense”
Chris Robinson – Downbeat Magazine

“a skillful, musical player”
Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes

“A thoughtful and ambitious composer”
Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide

“ Escoffery has a large, vibrant sound; a technical facility evident to even the untutored; and a lyrical streak that can get a complicated solo to sing and dance.”
Niel Tesser - Chicago Reader