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Baltimore music composer returns to CFG Arena with Justin Timberlake

Dontae Winslow's journey from North Avenue to his music dreams
Posted: 6:32 PM, Jul 03, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-04 18:00:30-04

BALTIMORE — Before Dontae Winslow ever stepped on stage at CFG Arena to perform with the likes of Justin Timberlake, the Baltimore native made his name known all over the music world as a composer, orchestrator, producer and master of the trumpet.

In 2024, you'll catch him with his signature "red bell" horn jamming out with Timberlake on his 'Forget Tomorrow' world tour. In their time on the road, he says the squad is playing on another level.

Dontae performing with Justin Timberlake

"We have a synergy that’s unmatched right now," Winslow said. "It’s like [Chicago] Bulls in '96. We’re really buzzing and vibrating and sending out these frequencies that’s touching people all over the world."

It's a journey that's allowed him to work with artists like Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Garth Brooks, Christina Aguilera and many more.

Queen Latifah
Actor & Hip Hop legend Queen Latifah
Dontae and Dr. Dre
Dontae and music mogul Dr. Dre

However, even his long list of accomplishments which includes leading the orchestra for the 94th Academy Awards, Super Bowls and other monumental stages, he was a kid from Charm City with only a trumpet and a dream.

Dontae and William H. Murphy

"I started at Cross Country Elementary, Fall Staff Middle, [Baltimore School for the Arts High School]," Winslow said.

BSA is also where he met his partner in life and music; his wife MeShica.

He remembers, early on in life, seeing his community plagued with drugs and violence, but credits music, his faith and some good mentors for helping him see a brighter side of life.

"I’ve seen so much hell and pain and then God flipped it and showed me glory and love and blessings."

Now, he's hoping to showcase to other aspiring musicians and dreamers from his city.

 Young Dontae Winslow (middle)
Young Dontae Winslow (middle)

"I want you to know that I'm just like you," he said in his message to kids in Baltimore. "I’m the kid also, that was walking through the streets with his horn, that had to catch three buses to school, that went to work three jobs while he was in college."

Meanwhile, he continues working to pave the way for more stories like his to be told.

"There’s still work to be done in our community and for our children," he said. "We have to pour into the kids now. Hollywood is cool, this big show is cool, but the real work is humanity."

Watch his WMAR-2 News interview to get a glimpse into his music journey and why his wife, MaShica, who he first met at the Baltimore School for the Arts, is his favorite on the list of artists he's gotten work with in his career.

Dontae and MeShica Winslow
Dontae and MeShica Winslow, husband and wife and creators of "The Winslow Dynasty"

Also, you'll see what may be the most memorable moment of their trip back to Baltimore for the 'Forget Tomorrow' tour; Justin Timberlake grooving at their family cookout.

Dontae and Justin Timberlake
Dontae and Justin Timberlake

Click HERE to follow Winslow and learn more about his story, listen to his new music and look out for the films you can hear his scores in.

Dontae and Mario Van Peebles
Dontae and Mario Van Peebles on the set of the film
"Outlaw Posse"