Litchfield Jazz Festival & Jazz Camp

Teaching Artists

Vincent Gardner

Vincent Gardner

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

Vincent Gardner

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

Vincent Gardner

Trombone

Vincent Gardner, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1972, is a trombonist and composer. As a bandleader, Gardner has released four albums under the SteepleChase record label. He performs with his own groups frequently, in addition to being the lead trombonist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Born into a musical family -- his father, Burgess Gardner, a trumpeter (played with Ray Charles, Count Basie and Horace Silver) and his mother, a pianist and choir director -- Gardner was surrounded by music.  Early on he began by singing in his mother’s church choir, playing the violin, saxophone and French horn.  At 13 he switched to the trombone. He developed an interest in jazz in 11th grade after being selected for the Hampton All-City Jazz Ensemble and with exposure to J.J. Johnson’s music.

Post graduation he was determined to pursue a career as a professional musician.  He enrolled at Florida A&M University, studying classical trombone and Music Education.  He transferred to The University of North Florida, and in 1996, he obtained a degree in Jazz Trombone Performance. A move to Brooklyn, New York followed where he has since performed with The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Illinois Jacquet, The Saturday Night Live Band, Lauryn Hill, Matchbox 20, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and others.  From 2003-2004 Gardner was the Visiting instructor of Jazz Trombone at Michigan State University. He continues to be an active educator with teaching engagements at Florida State University and The New School. Most recently Gardner was the Instructor of Jazz Trombone at The Juilliard School.

From 1998 - 2000, Gardner was part of a world tour with Grammy Award winning Hip Hop Singer and Rapper Lauryn Hill. Later in 2000 Gardner joined The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, with which he continues to perform. As a member of the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, he has contributed many arrangements for various performances of that ensemble. In 2009 he was commissioned by Jazz At Lincoln Center to compose a work entitled: “The Jesse B. Semple Suite” which featured his original compositions intertwined with the short stories of author Langston Hughes featuring his character Jesse B. Semple. Vincent joins Litchfield Jazz Camp as a teaching artist in 2010.