Justice for Jazz Artists welcomes musician and educator Steve Wilson, who has publicly endorsed our campaign to bring common sense economic relief to struggling jazz musicians.
Steve is a musician’s musician and has attained ubiquitous status in the studio and on the stage with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. He also has seven recordings under his own name, leading and collaborating with such stellar musicians as Lewis Nash, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Cyrus Chestnut, Greg Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, and Nicholas Payton.
Cited by his peers in a New York Times poll as one of the artists most likely to break out as an established leader, Wilson recorded four CDs – “New York Summit,” “Step Lively,” “Blues for Marcus” and “Four For Time” – on the Criss Cross label. He then recorded two projects for Chick Corea’s Stretch Records label – “Generations,” his multi-generational quartet with Mulgrew Miller, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley—and “Passages,” which features his long-time musical partners Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Adam Cruz, and special guest Nicholas Payton. Containing nine original compositions, “Passages” established Wilson as a leader whose vision reveres the past, creates a soundscape of the present, and reaches toward the future.
An in-demand and passionate educator, Wilson is an Associate Professor of Music at City College of New York, and on faculty at the Juilliard School. With the support of friend and mentor Dr. Billy Taylor, Wilson has been a frequent guest performer/educator at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has been a featured performer, panelist, and clinician at conferences of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Chamber Music of America, and International Association of Jazz Educators. Wilson was honored with the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award from New York University 2001 and the Virginia Jazz Award 2003 Musician of the Year presented by the Richmond Jazz Society, recognizing his outstanding service in the advancement of jazz and education in their respective communities. He is an active mentor in the nurturing and promotion of his former students’ emerging careers who have performed with The Count Basie Orchestra, Johnny Mandel, Beyonce Knowles, Roy Hargrove, and many others.
Wilson’s current projects reflect his multifaceted artistry, versatility, and associations with some of the most highly regarded artists on the scene. His quartet Wilsonian’s Grain, which consists of Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo, and Bill Stewart or Clarence Penn, has been featured on NPR live from the Kennedy Center and the Village Vanguard in New York City, and headlined at the prestigious Detroit Jazz Festival in 2011. Wilson is one-half of two dynamic duos, “Musical Dialogue” with renowned drummer Lewis Nash, and in another with pianist Bruce Barth as documented on their recent recording “Home” on the We Always Swing label. He co-leads an elegant trio with pianist Renee Rosnes and bassist Peter Washington, and with composer/arranger David O’Rourke has a repertoire as soloist with strings. Wilson is touring member of the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Billy Childs Quartet, Christian McBride & Inside Straight as well as McBride’s Grammy-winning Big Band, and the Buster Williams Quartet.