Wynton Marsalis Named Colgate University Commencement Speaker for 2023

On Feb. 27, Colgate University named Wynton Marsalis as the 2023 Graduation Commencement Speaker in an email sent by Colgate University to the student body. Marsalis is currently the managing and artistic director of jazz at Lincoln Center, director of the Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School in New York, and president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.

Marsalis has performed thousands of concerts worldwide and has been named the “Pied Piper of Jazz” and the “Doctor of Swing.” His original compositions consist of 600 songs and movements, 11 dance scores, 13 suites, four symphonies, two chamber pieces, two string quartets, a jazz oratorio, a fanfare, and concertos for violin and tuba.

According to his website, Marsalis’ debut classical recording won a Grammy Award for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” He is the only artist to win a Grammy Award for both jazz and classical records. Marsalis also became the first jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize for music in 1997.

Marsalis currently focuses on introducing jazz to a younger generation and teaching jazz fundamentals.

Marsalis is to receive an honorary degree from Colgate University alongside Joe Castiglione ’68, IIya Kaminsky, Mary Ann Moran ’77 and Mark Siegel ’73.

Full story to come.