Wayne Shorter first rose to prominence in the late 1950’s as the primary composer for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet, becoming what their bandleader referred to as the ensemble’s “intellectual musical catalyst,” before co-founding the pioneering group, Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly-acclaimed quartet.
New York Times said that Shorter’s “mastery is in knocking down the wall between jazz and classical [music].” Among the orchestras that have performed his symphonic compositions are the Chicago Symphony, Lyon Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has received commissions from the St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit, and National Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the La Jolla Music Society. In all, Shorter has realized over 200 compositions.
Shorter’s outstanding record of professional achievement includes ten Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015. He received Honorary Doctorates from New York University, the New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. In 1997, the National Endowment for the Arts presented Shorter with the Jazz Master Award. He was named a Guggenheim fellow in 2016 and was awarded the Polar Prize in 2017.
Photo by Robert Ashcroft.