Wayne Shorter (born August 25, 1933 Newark, NJ) is an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Shorter came to wide prominence in the late 1950s as a member of, and eventually primary composer for, Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers. In the 1960s, he went on to join Miles Davis‘s Second Great Quintet, and from there he co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report. He has recorded over 20 albums as a bandleader.
Many of Shorter’s compositions have become jazz standards, and his output has earned worldwide recognition, critical praise and various commendations. Shorter has won 10 Grammy Awards. He has also received acclaim for his mastery of the soprano saxophone (after switching his focus from the tenor in the late 1960s), beginning an extended reign in 1970 as Down Beat‘s annual poll-winner on that instrument, winning the critics’ poll for 10 consecutive years and the readers’ for 18. The New York Times described Shorter in 2008 as “probably jazz’s greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser.” In 2017, he was awarded the Polar Music Prize.