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. His earlier studies include: The Fallstaff Middle School, The Baltimore School for the Arts, and The New School for Social Research in New York City. 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.
He has toured the world with the Gary Thomas Quintet. The group Overkill utilized Dontae's contributions as a rap artist, writer, and trumpeter. The nineteen-year-old and full-time college student had the fortunate opportunity to travel throughout North America and Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany, France, etc.). Dontae has toured with multi-platinum R&B artist D'Angelo, gospel phenomenon Natalie Wilson and the S.O.P. Chorale. He has performed at the Columbia Arts Festival (1994), the Montreaux Jazz Festival (1995), the Montreal Jazz Festival (1997), the Brecon Jazz Festival (1998), and the Marciac Jazz Festival (1998). Dontae was a semi-finalist in the 1997 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 in such musicals as "Dinah Was" and "Ain't Misbehavin'". As a producer, Dontae arranged strings and co-wrote the song "Oh How I Love You" for the upcoming gospel release from Jason Nelson. He programmed MPC drums on the new Roy Hargrove release "RH Factor", and produced the upcoming R&B CD "The Real Thing" by MaShica Winslow. He has released over 8 hip-hop and jazz titles on his own independent label, Ransom Entertainment.
Dontae is very devoted to helping children. This love led to the recording entitled "Change a Life...Change the World"; his latest project. 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 with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and Hollywood film composer Terence Blanchard.