35 Facts About Wayne Shorter


Wayne Shorter was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.


Wayne Shorter recorded more than 20 albums as a bandleader.


Many Wayne Shorter compositions have become jazz standards, and his music has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise, and commendation.


Wayne Shorter was acclaimed for his mastery of the soprano saxophone since switching his focus from the tenor in the late 1960s and beginning an extended reign in 1970 as DownBeats annual poll-winner on that instrument, winning the critics' poll for 10 consecutive years and the readers' for 18.


Wayne Shorter was born in Newark, New Jersey; the son of Louise and Joseph Shorter, he graduated from Newark Arts High School in 1952.


Wayne Shorter loved comic books and science fiction growing up, as well as music and was encouraged by his parents to take clarinet lessons at age 16 and later switched to tenor saxophone before enrolling at New York University in 1952.


In 1959, Wayne Shorter joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers where he stayed for four years, eventually becoming musical director and composing pieces for the band.


Wayne Shorter was one of the few people who brought music to Miles that didn't get changed.


Wayne Shorter writes scores, writes the parts for everybody just as he wants them to sound.


Wayne Shorter brought in a kind of curiosity about working with musical rules.


Ian Carr, musician and Rough Guide author said that with Davis, Wayne Shorter found his own voice as a player and composer.


Wayne Shorter remained in Davis's band after the breakup of the quintet in 1968, playing on early jazz fusion recordings including In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew.


Simultaneous with his time in the Davis quintet, Wayne Shorter recorded several albums for Blue Note Records, featuring almost exclusively his own compositions, with a variety of line-ups, quartets and larger groups, including Blue Note favorites such as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard.


Wayne Shorter recorded occasionally as a sideman with trumpeter Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, as well as bandmates Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams.


Wayne Shorter recorded critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader, notably 1974's Native Dancer, which featured Hancock and Brazilian composer and vocalist Milton Nascimento.


Wayne Shorter appeared with the same former Davis bandmates on the Carlos Santana double LP The Swing of Delight, for which he composed a number of pieces.


Wayne Shorter played an extended solo on the title track of Steely Dan's 1977 album Aja.


Wayne Shorter maintained an occasional working relationship with Herbie Hancock, including a tribute album recorded shortly after Miles Davis's death with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wallace Roney.


Wayne Shorter has appeared on Mitchell's records in the 1990s and can be heard on the soundtrack of the Harrison Ford film The Fugitive.


In 1995, Wayne Shorter released the album High Life, his first solo recording for seven years.


Wayne Shorter worked with Herbie Hancock in 1997, on the much acclaimed and heralded album 1+1.


In 2000, Wayne Shorter formed the first permanent acoustic group under his name, a quartet with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade, playing his own compositions, many of them reworkings of tunes going back to the 1960s.


In 2018, Wayne Shorter retired from his near 70-year performing career due to health issues.


Wayne Shorter continued working as a composer, creating a "new operatic work" titled Iphigenia, a loose adaptation of the ancient Greek myth; with Esperanza Spalding writing the libretto and architect Frank Gehry designing the sets, which premiered on November 12,2021, at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.


Wayne Shorter met Ana Maria Patricio in 1966 and they were married in 1970.


In 1999, Wayne Shorter married Carolina Dos Santos, a close friend of Ana Maria.


Wayne Shorter practiced Nichiren Buddhism for more than 50 years as a longtime member of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.


Singer and actress Tina Turner credits Wayne Shorter with saving her life.


Wayne Shorter died in Los Angeles, California, on March 2,2023, at the age of 89.


In 1999, Wayne Shorter received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music.


On September 17,2013, Wayne Shorter received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.


On December 18,2014, the Recording Academy announced that Wayne Shorter was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his "prolific contributions to our culture and history".


In 2016, Wayne Shorter was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of music composition, the only jazz artist to receive the honor that year.


In 2017, Wayne Shorter was announced as the joint winner of the Polar Music Prize.


In 2018, Shorter received the Kennedy Center Honors Award from the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for his lifetime of contributions to the arts.