Saxophonist & educator, Godwin Louis, was born in Harlem, New York and began playing saxophone at age nine. Godwin grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port au Prince, Haiti.
Godwin was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Saxophone Competition, and has performed all over the world.
He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance.
Godwin has studied with and performed with Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Roger Dickerson, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Jack Dejohnette, Jimmy Heath, Billy Preston, Patti Labelle, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Barry Harris, Howard Shore, David Baker, Mulatu Astakte, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wynton Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard just to name a few.
In addition, Godwin has performed as a sideman, guest soloist and has conducted clinics and master classes worldwide.
As a composer, Godwin has received the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the Jazz Gallery’s “New Works Commission”.
As an educator, humanitarian and ambassador, Godwin has traveled from Benin to China to help promote cross-cultural understanding and introduce thousands to America’s indigenous art form, through public concerts, master classes, and jam sessions.
He is currently full-time faculty for the Woodwind Department at Berklee College of Music.
Godwin is the founder of Experience Ayiti, a nonprofit educational, multidisciplinary arts organization.
Godwin’s debut album as a leader, entitled “Global”, was released in February 2019.
(The intro music for the podcast is his composition, Thoughts and Prayers, from his album, Global.)
We talked about:
- Single vs. double lip embouchure
- How Solfege shaped his understanding of music & helped his improvisation
- What Godwin thinks about when improvising
- His definition of leading the band
- Why it’s okay to “be who you are” at jam sessions
- His album “Global” and the influence of Africa in his music
- and more
We would like to thank our sponsor, UMBS.
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Here’s the video from this episode:
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This was wonderful and inspirational for a beginner like me
Glad to hear, Colin 🙂
I recently stumbled on your site and podcasts. This interview was unbelievable. I actually played alongside a young Godwin in a small community band in CT. I was much older (he was still a high school student, very quiet and unassuming back then, but a great player –very talented.) When I saw you did an interview, I was so anxious to hear it. I haven’t seen him since, but I am so impressed with the man he has become — a force for music, education, knowledge, cultural awareness. Excellent podcast -I am now a faithful listener. Thank you.
What a cool story – thanks for sharing, Laura, and really glad you love the show 🙂