Wayne Escoffery"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." - Niel Tesser

Since moving to New York City in 2000, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has become one of the Jazz world's most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. Wayne began his professional New York career touring and recording with The Eric Reed Septet. In 2001 he became a steady member of the Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, The Lonnie Plaxico Group, and Abdulah Ibrahim's Akaya.

In 2004 Grammy award winning producer, arranger and trumpeter Don Sickler asked Wayne to be a part of Ben Riley's Monk legacy Septet (an innovative piano-less group dedicated to carrying on the legacy of jazz great Thelonious Monk). In 2006 Wayne secured one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Tom Harrell's working quintet.

Wayne and his mother moved to the United States from North London in 1983, eventually settling in New Haven, Connecticut. At age eleven Wayne joined The New Haven Trinity Boys Choir, an internationally known Boys Choir that toured and recorded annually. Jackie McLean gave Wayne a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance, and became known as one of McLean's prize pupils.

Wayne went on to The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at The New England Conservatory in Boston on a full scholarship. At the Institute, he toured with Herbie Hancock and studied with George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Charlie Persip and other Jazz masters.

As well as performing with his new quintet, Wayne Escoffery currently performs locally and tours internationally with Ben Riley's Quartet, the Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, Ron Carter's Great Big Band vocalist Carolyn Leonhart, and the Tom Harrell Quintet where he also was co-producer for Harrell's last four releases.