Wayne Escoffery was born in London in 1975 and moved to New Haven, CT, in 1983. At age eleven, he joined The New Haven Trinity Boys Choir and began taking private saxophone lessons. By the time he was 16, he was focusing exclusively on the saxophone, studying in New Haven and at The Jazz Mobile in New York City. Saxophonist Jackie McLean gave him a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School where he graduated summa cum laude. While at Hartt, he played with Curtis Fuller, Eddie Henderson, Philip Harper, Albert Heath, and many others. He went on to attend The Thelonious Monk Institute at The New England Conservatory in Boston on full scholarship. There, he toured with Herbie Hancock and studied with George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Charlie Persip and others. He received his Masters in 1999 and moved to New York in 2000.
Since then he has performed with many internationally respected musicians and garnered critical praise. Now 34, he has recorded four CDs as a leader and been on numerous recordings as a sideman. He has toured with The Eric Reed Septet and is a member of the Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, The Lonnie Plaxico Group, Abdulah Ibrahim’s Akaya, Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet, Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Music of the Masters, and Tom Harrell’s Quintet. One of his recent a collaborations is a CD with his wife, vocalist Carolyn Leonhart, If Dreams Come True (2007).