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Biographical Sketches

Phil Wilson Phil Wilson

Guest Artist, Trombone

Phil Wilson, a resident of Belmont, Massachusetts, 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 ’60s edition of Woody Herman’s “swinging herd.” Wilson recorded twelve albums during his stay with the Herman Band. After 3½ 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 posistion 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. Recently, 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 with the Northern German Radio Big Band, featuring music from his latest CD, The Wizard of Oz Suite. Phil wrote all of the arrangements on the disc, and he is the featured soloist with the group.

In December of 1995, Phil was honored at the Berklee Performance Center by former members of the International Dues Band, which Phil founded many years ago at Berklee. These former members came to Boston to participate in a tribute concert in recognition of Phil’s thirty-one years of teaching at Berklee. Many of them are now celebrated jazz artists.

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