Director of jazz studies Wycliffe Gordon wins DownBeat Critics Poll 2018 ‘Best Trombone’ award

Wycliffe Gordon, Augusta University’s newest director of jazz studies, was named “Best Trombone” by the DownBeat Critics Poll 2018, one of the most prestigious recognition for a jazz musician. This is the fifth time he’s received this award.

“Getting Wycliffe as a full-time faculty member is nothing short of monumental for our music program,” said Dr. Angela Morgan, chair of the music department at Augusta University. “He brings a level a prestige and excellence to Augusta University that makes all of the other universities in the region envious.”

This latest DownBeat Critics Poll recognition adds to the renowned musician’s already extensive resume. Gordon received the DownBeat Critics Poll 2014’s “Rising Star – Tuba” award and was named “Trombonist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association 11 times.

In 1996, Gordon was hired to create a new arrangement for NPR’s All Things Considered. He changed the classical theme to a jazz arrangement, which has been in use since then and is heard across the nation.

In 2007, former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver declared August 17 Wycliffe Gordon Day in Augusta.

A native of Waynesboro, Georgia, Gordon was an artist-in-residence at Augusta University since fall 2014 until being recently named director of jazz studies.

“Wycliffe’s level of expertise and international reputation gives our students exposure to one of the most influential jazz artists of our time,” Morgan said.

Gordon and the Augusta University Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and at the President’s Gala at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 both at the Maxwell Theatre. His last fall performance will be the holiday-themed Wycliffe and Friends concert at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Maxwell.

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Arthur Takahashi

Arthur Takahashi is Digital Media Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706–446–5128 or

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Written by Arthur Takahashi

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