wynton-marsalisWynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is the most acclaimed trumpet player in the world. Not only has the musician earned nine Grammys spanning jazz to classical, he is one of the few to ever earn a Pulitzer Prize for Music (for "Blood on the Fields," his oratorio about slavery). The New Orleans native (and son of jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis) released his first album in 1981. Since then he's recorded dozens of projects and collaborated with icons ranging from Eric Clapton to Kathleen Battle to Willie Nelson.

"I try to forget them. I don't really know. I've got some I could nominate for it though. We did a Louis Armstrong show once at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was the Hot Five and Hot Seven. That was a rough one. Nothing about it sounded good. It was painful. Painful. Nothing blew up or anything -- just our egos. Sometimes that type of (explosion) is the most painful of all. ... But you get past the bad gigs quickly. I always wanted to be a musician. And sometimes not everything goes where you think it should. My father told me, 'Do it because you love to do it. Don't put a lot of ulterior motives on it.'"

— Wynton Marsalis