Vincent Gardner, born in Chicago and raised in Hampton ,Virginia, is among the worlds foremost Jazz Trombonists, Composers, Historians, and Educators. He has served as Lead Trombonist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra for nearly twenty years, along with serving as Musical Director and composer for that ensemble numerous times. In collaboration with major symphony orchestras, Mr. Gardner has performed under the baton of esteemed conductors such as Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has also served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Northwestern University, and Michigan State University, has been recorded extensively as a sideman, and has released five recordings as a leader on the Steeplechase label. Mr. Gardner has also performed with artists such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Paul Simon, Lauryn Hill, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Connick, Jr., Willie Nelson, Illinois Jacquet, The Saturday Night Live Band, A Tribe Called Quest, and Frank Foster. His trombone playing has been described as “Soulful, Expressive, and transcending the expectations of the instrument” by Downbeat magazine.
Mr. Gardner is also a dedicated Jazz Historian and Researcher, having been mentored and studied with Phil Schaap, Lewis Porter, and having assisted renowned record producer George Avakian with archiving his vast collection of memorabilia while earning a Masters Degree in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University. He currently also serves as Artistic Director, and along with his wife is a co-founder of Jazz Houston, an organization based in Houston, Texas dedicated to the cultivation of Jazz through performance, education, and community outreach.