Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Escoffery, Wayne (Shariffe)

Escoffery, Wayne (Shariffe), tenor and soprano saxophones; b. London, England, 23 February 1975. He now resides in Harlem, NY. His parents, Patricia Escoffery and Trevor Mahoney, are both British/Jamaican. Wayne received a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Performance from The Hartt School, a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from The New England Conservatory and a Diploma of Completion from The Thelonious Monk Institute.

Escoffery, a native of London, England, moved to the United States at the age of eight.  He began playing the saxophone when he was eleven, and was a member of the second class of students at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, a full scholarship two-year college program, which only accepts a small select group of the worlds most talented young jazz artists every two years.  Escoffery found his love for jazz at The Educational Center for the Arts, an after-school program he attended during high school.

While in school, Escoffery studied at the Jazz Mobile in New York City and the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut.  During his senior year, he studied at the Artists Collective in Hartford, CT. It was here that Escoffery met Jackie McLean, the world-renowned alto saxophonist and founder of both The Artists Collective and the jazz program at The Hartt School.  McLean Gave Escoffery a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance.  While at Hartt, Escoffery played with such jazz greats as Curtis Fuller, Eddie Henderson, Philip Harper, Claude Williams, and Albert Heath, among others.  Since attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Escoffery has devoted a great deal of time and creative energy to composing and arranging, including the arrangements of several original compositions and popular tunes.  At the Institute, he performed and studied with George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Charlie Persip and others.

In May 1999, Escoffery graduated with a Masters degree from The New England Conservatory/The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and moved to New York City.  Since then he has worked with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and many other world class musicians. From 2000 to 2002 Wayne was a member of Eric Reed's Septet and Quartet touring and then recording a Septet Record called Happiness for Nagel-Heyer Records.  At present Wayne is a member of The Mingus Big Band and works regularly with Abdullah Ibrahim's "Akaya", The Lonnie Plaxico Group, Ralph Peterson, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, and The Jeremy Pelt Quintet. He also plays at local clubs regularly with his groups as well as other local bands. Some of Wayne's most recent gigs have been a week at the Blue Note with The Lonnie Plaxico Group; A European and Honk Kong tour with The Mingus Band; a Boudoir Tenors concert at Lincoln Center featuring himself, Frank Wess, Lew Tabakin, and Stephen Riley with the Bill Charlap Trio; and a South African tour with Abdullah Ibrahim's "Akaya."

Times Change; Intuition
As sideperson:
Eric Reed: Happiness; David Gibson: Maya; Nancie Banks Orchestra: Out Of It (2001); The Mingus Big Band: Tonight At Noon; Lonnie Plaxico: Rhythm and Soul

2nd Tenor Saxophone Connecticut All State 1993
Semi Finalist in The Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition 2002

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