Swing University Vincent Gardner's Biography

Vincent R. Gardner (Trombone) was born in Chicago in 1972 and raised in Hampton, Virginia. His family has a strong musical background, including his mother, his brother, and his father, Burgess Gardner, a trumpeter and music educator who has been very active on the Chicago music scene since the 1960s. Singing in church from an early age, he began playing piano when he was six, and soon switched to the violin, saxophone, and French horn before finally deciding on the trombone at age 12. Mr. Gardner became interested in jazz while attending high school and upon graduating went on to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida and the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In college, he took a summer job performing with a jazz band at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where he caught the ear of Mercer Ellington, who hired him on his first professional job. After graduating from college, he moved to Brooklyn, New York to pursue his professional career. After completing a world tour with Grammy Award winning artist Lauryn Hill in 2000, he joined Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with whom he continues to participate, currently serving as the lead trombonist. Mr. Gardner is also an active educator, having served as the Instructor of Jazz Trombone at the Juilliard School, Michigan State University, as a Visiting Instructor at Florida State University, as an Adjunct Instructor at The New School in New York City, and has also participated in numerous educational settings with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Aside from these pursuits, he is also an accomplished composer and arranger, having contributed many arrangements for the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, and other ensembles. In 2009 he was commissioned by Jazz At Lincoln Center to write “The Jesse B. Semple Suite”, which was a 60–‐minute musical suite centered around the short stories of Langston Hughes. Mr. Gardner has participated as a sideman on a number of notable recordings, and he has recorded five CD’s as a leader for Steeplechase Records, Elbow Room (2005), and The Good Book, Chapter 1, Vin-Slidin’ (2008), Three-Five (2009), and The Good Book, Chapter 2 (2011). Mr. Gardner has also performed, toured and/or recorded with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Connick, Jr., Frank Foster, The Saturday Night Live Band, Chaka Kahn, A Tribe Called Quest, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Jon Faddis, Tommy Flanagan, Matchbox 20, Jimmy Heath and others.