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Listen: Dennis Wilson Pays Homage To Late Gerald Wilson

Sep 12, 2014

Composer and arranger, Gerald Wilson seen conducting at the 2008 Detroit Jazz Festival
Credit Dr. Jazz

Bandleader, composer and arranger Gerald Wilson died Monday at his home in Los Angeles. Wilson's career stretched from the swing era of the 1930s into the 21st century.


When the news of former Detroiter and NEA Jazz Master Gerald Wilson’s passing on Monday, September 8th was confirmed, the first person I thought to call to comment on Gerald’s genius as an arranger and orchestral jazz composer was trombonist Dennis Wilson.  Dennis Wilson teaches at the University of Michigan and directs many of their big bands.  

Dennis played with Gerald Wilson at the Detroit Jazz Festival and recorded on all of Gerald Wilson’s Mack Avenue Records CDs including Detroit which was commissioned for the 30th annual Detroit Jazz Festival.  Dennis spoke about Gerald Wilson with total love and respect. 

Gerald Wilson, Kenny Burrell, and Myself at the 30th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival. Mack Avenue Records commissioned Wilson to write and direct the jazz suite "Detroit" that year.

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