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Gerald Wilson: Composer, Arranger, Choreographer

An Overdue Ovation for a West Coast legend

Gerald Wilson
Gerald Wilson

Watching Gerald Wilson lead his big band is one of the premier live jazz experiences. Slender and mobile with white hair flowing around his head, he’s as graceful as a dancer, and his every movement seems to be a creative flash point for the stellar members of his ensemble. “I choreograph the music when I conduct,” says Wilson. “Accent everything-all the high points.”

What makes it all even more remarkable is the fact that Wilson has been doing it for nearly seven decades. At 92, seemingly unfazed by the aches of age, he continues to write and conduct with the spirit, imagination and enthusiasm that have characterized his long, remarkable career.

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