Friday, March 1, 1996

Jazz Great Phil Wilson to Appear at Spring Pops

Guest Artist Phil Wilson
This year's Spring Pops Concerts should be swinging affairs when legendary jazz trombonist Phil Wilson takes the stage as the Concord Band's guest artist. Phil is an internationally renowned musician who has performed with such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong and Woody Herman. He initially came to prominence as first trombonist and jazz soloist with the early '60's edition of Woody Herman's "swinging herd." Wilson recorded 12 albums during his stay with the Herman Band. After 3 years with Herman, Phil joined the Dorsey Brothers Band. In 1965 after nine exhausting years of bus tours and one-night stands, he accepted a faculty position at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

During his thirty years at Berklee, Phil has established himself as one of the pioneers of jazz education. In addition to being a world-class trombonist and jazz educator, Phil is known throughout the jazz world as a first-class composer and arranger. His arrangement of the Joe Zawinul hit, Mercy, Mercy, which was recorded by the Buddy Rich Band, won him a Grammy Award nomination.

Phil has appeared as a guest artist at jazz festivals throughout the world. This past fall, he spent two weeks touring the Netherlands and recorded with the Metropol Orchestra, the radio orchestra of the Netherlands, a group that Phil has described as "one of the finest in the world." He also spent two weeks touring Sweden, featuring music from his latest CD, The Wizard of Oz Suite, with the NDR (Northern German Radio) Big Band. Phil wrote all of the arrangements on the disk and is the featured soloist with the group.

In December, Phil was honored at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston when former members of the International Dues Band, which Phil founded many years ago at Berklee, came to Boston to participate in a tribute concert in recognition of Phil's 31 years of teaching at Berklee. Many of the former members of the Dues Band are now celebrated jazz artists.

A resident of Belmont, Phil is looking forward to performing with the Concord Band at the Spring Pops concerts, sponsored each year in April by the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary and the Concord Rotary. Phil will also be performing with the Band at our Independence Day concert at Fruitlands Museums in Harvard. Among the selections he will be performing with the Band are Ed Madden's arrangement of Somewhere Oz, Phil's own arrangement (in honor of Louis Armstrong) of Sleepytime Down South, and a swinging arrangement of St. James Infirmary. Phil Wilson's appearance at Pops is sure to be one of the most exciting events of the Concord Band's 1995-96 season.