Every artist faces the challenge of finding their voice. For some it takes many years, and often they do not recieve the recognition they deserve until long after their death. Wynton Marsalis was a still a young man living in the birthplace of jazz when he discovered that his voice came from a trumpet, and what a voice it was. .

Wynton Learson Marsalis was born on October 18th, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle of four children, Wynton was exposed to music very early on. His father, Ellis was a pianist. His brothers, also musical, played a variety of instruments including, saxophone, trombone and drums. Although it was his father that passed along his musical genes it was his mother who gave him the most inspiration, She took us to music camps, taught us the importance of culture, gave us books to read. She had a powerful influence.' (Awmiller 8) .

Marsalis became an accomplished trumpeteer at a young age. By the time he graduated highschool at 17 he had won several important local competitions. By his brother's standards and many others he was considered to be, The best trumpet player in the south.'(Gourse 14) Marsalis had high hopes for himself even though he came from a family that had very little money to give. His determination led him to receive two prestigious scholarships, a summer educational symposium at Tanglewood and tuition at Juliard. .

While at Juliard Wynton was exposed to a vast array of music. During this time he developed quite an ear for style and found alot of dissastisfaction in the jazz fusion that was becoming mainstream. He spent his time going to old jazz clubs and classical concerts where he began his mission, To purge jazz of the excesses it had lapsed into since about 1960.'(Santoro 1).

As Wynton struggled more and more with rock-jazz fusion he began to search out others who yearned to play the bebop and acoustic jazz of yesturyear that flowed eerilly both in tone and phrasing from his trumpet.