Gerald Wilson

Gerald Stanley Wilson ( born September 4, 1918 in Shelby, Mississippi) is an American jazz musician ( trumpet player, arranger and band leader ).

Life and work

Wilson lived from 1932 in Detroit; He initially played piano and learned to play a college trumpet. After first appearances at a club he joined 1939-1942 Jimmy Lunceford 's band, where he also arranged. He then settled in Los Angeles, where he worked with Benny Carter, Les Hite and Phil Moore; 1946 resulted in several 78s for Black & White Records, including a version of " One O'Clock Jump". After his military service, he started his own big band, which was active intermittently until the 1990s and many important musicians of the West Coast ( eg, Bud Shank, Horace Tapscott Eric Dolphy, Roy Ayers, Bobby Bradford, Joe Pass and Frank Morgan ) belonged. With his band he recorded numerous records, on especially for Pacific Jazz Records. Titled Viva Tirado 1963 he could record a hit. Self-employed, he wrote in 1947 arrangements for Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and later for Count Basie, with whom he can also be heard on recordings as a trumpeter. Later he worked as musical director for Al Hirt and Nancy Wilson, but also appeared on the Monterey Jazz Festival on. The mid-1970s, he led a radio show. He teaches (with Kenny Burrell ) history of jazz at the University of California at Los Angeles.

After Wilson had in 1995 returned with a big band album on the jazz scene, 1997, a production of the fortieth anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival was born; he wrote a " Theme for Monterey ," which was performed on the anniversary of the festival in 1998. Even the fiftieth anniversary him a composition contract was awarded, for which he was with an all - star cast in the recording studio ( CD " Monterey Moods ", 2007). He is also a guest conductor, for example with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (now the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York) and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, occurred; In February 2006, he led with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, his compositions and arrangements on.


Wilson's productions have been regularly nominated for a Grammy. For his work as a high school teacher, he was honored as " Teacher of the Year ". The American Cultural Foundation has honored him in 1990 with its NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his life's work. In March 2007, he was invited by the Kennedy Center as a " Living Legend of Jazz" honored.


  • Gerald Wilson 1945-1946 ( Classics )
  • Moment Of Truth (Pacific Jazz Records, 1963)
  • Eternal Equinox (Pacific Jazz Records, 1969)
  • State Street Sweet ( MMF Mom, 1995)
  • Theme for Monterey ( MMF Mom, 1997), with Oscar Brashear, Carl Saunders, George Bohanon, Snooky Young, Carl Randall


Secondary literature

  • C. Bohländer inter alia, Reclams jazz leader
  • I. Carr et al, Jazz Rough Guide