Dontae Winslow is one of music's "rising stars" and educators. He grew up in the tough neighborhood of Coppin Heights, on West North Avenue, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was trained in music at the formidable Baltimore School for the Arts high school. While there Dontae starred in 2 regional commercials, and one public service announcement for AIDS awareness. In three years, he attained a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Classical Music Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the John's Hopkins University. From that esteemed institution, he also received his Master's degree in European Classical Music Performance two years later.
As a full-time college student Dontae toured the world with the Gary Thomas Quintet. The group Overkill utilized Dontae's contributions as a rap artist, writer, and trumpeter. He has performed throughout North America and Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany, France, etc.). Dontae has toured with multi-platinum R&B artist D'Angelo, and gospel phenomenon Natalie Wilson and the S.O.P. Chorale. He has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival (1995), the Montreal Jazz Festival (1997), the Brecon Jazz Festival (1998), and the Marciac Jazz Festival (1998). In 1997 Dontae was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition and a finalist in the Marvin Hamlisch "Search for a Star" competition. Opening for such masters as Maya Angelou, Ashford and Simpson, and Wayne Shorter has elevated Dontae to the forefront of young innovators in music. He has performed with master Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, The Roots, Wynton Marsalis, Milt Jackson, Maysa of Incognito, Freddie Hubbard, Stevie Wonder, Larry Willis, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dontae has performed as a lead trumpeter in such broadway musicals as "Dinah Was" and "Ain't Misbehavin'". He programmed MPC drums on the new Roy Hargrove release "RH Factor", and produced,mixed, recorded, and arranged the music from "The Real Thing", new soul CD, by MaShica Winslow. He has released over 8 hip-hop and jazz titles on his own independent label, Ransom Entertainment.
Having a strong devotion to helping children led to Dontae's latest recording entitled "Change a Life...Change the World". The CD features his students from the Gilmor-Edison Elementary Choir, and his wife, MaShica Winslow on vocals. The CD is offered free to kids so that they will be inspired to attend college. In 2002, Dontae Winslow was the Grand Prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting contest in the Children's Music category. Dontae's song entitled "I Love School" was selected out of 24,000 entries. His winnings from the contest include an EMI music publishing contract and $5,000 in Yamaha Studio Equipment. Dontae believes that, despite your circumstances, with God and a good education you can achieve your dreams.
In 2003, Dontae Winslow was awarded a full-fellowship to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC, where he will be studying and performing with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and Hollywood film composer Terence Blanchard. Soon after ariving in LA Dontae was accepted as a trumpeter to tour with Pop singer Christina Aguilera. Dontae has Performed and/or produced on new albums by MTV's "Pimp MY Ride" host/rapper Xzibit, Sony gospel artists Mary Mary, and "American Idol" Rueben Studdard.
Recently, Dontae played horns on Jay-Z's latest recording, "Kingdom Come." Also on the album is a song by Dontae called "I Made It" featuring MaShica singing the hook.