WFIU’s Featured Artist for the month of February is world-renowned jazz trombonist Wayne Wallace. A six-time Grammy nominee, Wallace joined the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty as a professor of practice in 2013.
One of the most respected exponents of African American-Latin music in the world today, Wallace has earned wide critical acclaim, including placement in both the trombone and producer categories of the DownBeat Critics Poll.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Wallace credits the diverse soundscape of the Bay Area with shaping his career in a unique way. In addition to performance studies at San Francisco State University, Wallace studied privately with Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier and has also travelled to Cuba, New York City and Puerto Rico to study Afro-Latin music and jazz.
Over the past four decades, Wallace has performed and recorded with numerous acclaimed artists, including The Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Tito Puente, Sonny Rollins, The Temptations, James Taylor, The Asian American Jazz Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Irakere and Stevie Wonder.
An accomplished composer and arranger for both film and television, Wallace has received grants from the Creative Work Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation and the San Francisco Arts Commission. In 1993, he won the Bay Area Theater Critics Award for best original score in a drama for the musical Pecong. Wallace also co-composed and arranged the soundtrack to Speaking in Tongues, an award-winning documentary about bilingual education, which has been broadcast nationwide on PBS.
As the head of Patois Records, Wallace has fostered a label dedicated to the promotion and support of improvisational music. Under Wallace’s leadership, the label has released over 13 recordings to critical acclaim, including recordings by the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, Marc and Paul van Wageningen and vocalists Trelawny Rose and Kristina.
Since 1983, Wallace has conducted lectures, workshops, and clinics in the Americas and Europe and is a member of the Advisory Committees of the San Jose Jazz Society and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He has held teaching positions at San Jose State University, Stanford University and the Jazzschool in Berkeley. Wallace has also taught workshops in Germany and at the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba.
Currently a professor of practice at the IU Jacobs School of Music, Wallace directs the Latin Jazz Ensemble and teaches courses in jazz trombone and jazz history.
WFIU will feature performances by Wayne Wallace in our jazz music programming throughout the month of February.