Society of Peabody Alumni
Citation for the Peabody Young Maestro Award
September 28, 2012
Dontae Winslow, today we recognize and congratulate you for your distinguished professional achievement as a musician, and your dedication to helping the children who follow in your path.
You come from a background similar to many struggling youths in Baltimore City. Growing up in a rough, urban neighborhood you found in music an outlet for expression. You attended the Baltimore School for the Arts where you met the late Tupac Shakur who influenced you greatly. You were also mentored by jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove when you spent a year in New York City at The New School for Social Research.
You then came to Peabody; where you earned your Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Trumpet performance. While you were a student here you were already rapidly becoming a Baltimore celebrity. You were a finalist in the 1997 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition; and a finalist in the Marvin Hamlisch “Search for a Star” competition. You toured the world with the Gary Thomas Quintet and opened at the Meyerhoff for Maya Angelou and others who were performing selections from an album of music and poetry.
In 2003, you were awarded a full-fellowship to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC. There you studied with jazz pianist and legend Herbie Hancock as well as Hollywood film composer, Terence Blanchard.
As a trumpeter you have worked in the bands of Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, Christina Aguilera, Gary Thomas, and the Soulful Symphony, among others. But you have also worked as a music producer, songwriter, and arranger with notable artists such as Ke$ha, Beyonce, Jay-Z, David Banner, and Snoop Dogg. Most recently you have scored a feature film, The Discarded Boyz, directed by Robert Townsend.
Today you are part of the duo you founded with your wife, MaShica, called the Winslow Dynasty. This dynamic musical project combines your passion for music that crosses barriers and genres with your desire to “inspire a renaissance in creative art” and bring positive social change.
Your passion for helping children, particularly those growing up in difficult circumstances, led you to record “Change a Life…Change the World”. This album features your wife and students from Baltimore’s Gilmore-Edison Elementary Choir and won you the Grand Prize in the Children’s Music category of the John Lennon Songwriting contest in 2002.
Tomorrow you continue your dedication to inspiring young people by working with the students in Peabody’s Tuned-In program. Like you, many of them are gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are passionate about making music. We thank you for taking your time to mentor these young artists.
With this award we celebrate all that you have accomplished so far, and your journey forward as you continue to bring your music to the world, inspiring audiences young and old. On behalf of The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University it is our distinct honor to confer upon you the Peabody Young Maestro Award.