Ernie Wilkins

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Ernie Wilkins 1976

Ernest Brooks Wilkins Jr. (born July 20, 1919 in St. Louis , Missouri , USA , † June 5, 1999 in Copenhagen , Denmark ) was an American saxophonist, composer and band leader of modern jazz . He was awarded the Ben Webster Prize .

Live and act

Wilkins learned to play the violin and piano as a child before switching to the saxophone. He studied music at Wilberforce University in Ohio and played in a band under Willie Smith while serving in the US Navy . His first professional engagements with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and George Hudson before 1948 Member of Earl Hines ' band was.

In 1951 he became (together with his younger brother Jimmy Wilkins ) on the recommendation of Clark Terry a member of Count Basies Band, for which he worked as an arranger and composer. Among other things, he edited the One O'Clock Jump and Every Day I Have The Blues for her . In 1955 he separated from Basie to work as a composer and saxophonist in Dizzy Gillespie's band. In 1956 he worked for Big Joe Turner ( Boss of the Blues ) ; from 1958 to 1960 he worked with Harry James' band .

In the 1960s, Wilkins' career stalled because of drug problems. He returned to the music scene in the late 1960s as the musical director of Clark Terry's Big BAD Band . In 1975 he composed the choral suite Four Black Immortals , which was performed in New York's Town Hall and Avery Fisher Hall . In the late 1970s he toured Europe with Clark Terry.

In 1980 Wilkins decided to go all the way to Europe and settled in Copenhagen . There he founded the Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band , with which he recorded four albums. He also worked with the DR Big Band , with whom he toured Great Britain in 1991 and recorded the Suite for Jazz Band album , and with musicians such as Earl Hines , Sonny Rollins , Milt Jackson , Sarah Vaughn , Lena Horne and Quincy Jones . After a stroke, he withdrew from the music business.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Year of birth according to Leonard Feather & Ira Gitler , The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz . Oxford / New York, 1999, ISBN 978-0-19-532000-8 and the LA Times obituary; deviating from this, Ian Carr et al. a. Jazz Rough Guide Stuttgart 1999; ISBN 3-476-01584-X , Reclam's jazz guide and the obituary in The Scotsman 1922 as the year of birth. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz , 1988, 1994, Jörgensen, Wiedemann Jazzlexikon , Bertelsmann, Leonard Feather Encyclopedia of Jazz , 1960 indicate July 20, 1922.