Dave Wilson is a leading jazz saxophonist, recording artist, band leader, composer and educator in the Central PA/ Delaware Valley area. He has a very active performance schedule as both a leader of his own groups and as a sideman. Born and raised in Bronxville, N.Y. Dave Wilson began his music studies in the fourth grade. He evolved into a striking saxophonist with a distinctive vocabulary and chops and a maturity of tone that invokes passions and enthusiasm when listening to his music. He has studied with saxophonists Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Bill Barron, Ralph Lalama, Tim Price, Glenn Guidone, Tom Strohman as well as with guitarist Steve Giordano and pianist Kirk Reese. His primary focus is on with the saxophone are the tenor and soprano as well as on the alto, and is adept at both clarinet, flute and piccolo.
As the leader of his own contemporary jazz group, The Dave Wilson Quartet, Wilson and his band mates are known for their exciting improvisations, creative individualistic compositions and unique arrangements of standards. Wilson also led the Canal Street Hot 6, a well known Traditional/New Orleans ensemble for many years, with the trumpet Ben Mauger, one of the top purveyors of this genre on the East Coast. They released the CD, Back In the Day. They made numerous appearances on the East coast including at the Hot Steam Jazz Festival in Essex, CT, The Suncoast Jazz Society in Clearwater, Fla, The Tri-State Jazz Society (Philadelphia/New Jersey/Delaware), The Pennsylvania Jazz Society and at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Wilson remains very active with this genre, and his current traditional Jazz Group, The Rampart Street Ramblers. The Ramblers features an all-star lineup including some of the top names in Mid-Atlantic Traditional Jazz circles.
Wilson’s was a long standing member of the legendary trumpet master Dave Stahl’s Sacred Orchestra and Stahl’s Big Band. He appears on two DSSO CDs. With the big band he played alongside such Jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, the late Lou Soloff (BS&T), the late Steve Marcus, John Fedchock, Conrad Herwig, Gary Smulyan, Steve Smith (from Journey) and John Riley among others. Dave’s big band work continues throughout the year with regular performances in regional ensembles including the River City Big Band, King Street Big Band (KSSB), The Ben Mauger Vintage Jazz Band, and the Hershey PA Symphony Big Band, The "Kool Kats”.
The saxophonist released first solo CD in the Fall of 2020 entitled Through the Time, featuring himself on tenor and soprano saxophones; Kirk Reese on piano; Steve Meashey on bass; and Jeff Stabley on drums. The release was picked up by Dreamscape Records and received significant airplay on WRTI-FM in Philadelphia, and enjoyed additional airplay on over 30 jazz stations nationwide. Through the Time found itself on a few individual stations top 5 stats.
A second CD by the Dave Wilson Quartet titled My Time was released in late 2005 on Dreambox Media, a leading Independent record company out of Philadelphia. It garnered favorable reviews nationwide, including such publications as The Philadelphia Inquirer, All About Jazz, and Jazz Times. It a favorite at WRTI in Philadelphia as well as some 35-40 jazz stations nationwide. It achieved “chartbound” status, peaking at #55 on the Jazz Week album chart rankings.
Dave Wilson's third recording Spiral, featured internationally known personnel, Phil Markowitz on Piano, Tony Marino on Bass, and Adam Nussbaum on Drums, was released nationally on the Summit Records label in June 2010. It garnered national airplay from some 40 stations nationwide and achieved “chartbound” status in the Jazz Weekly countdown. It topped at #51 nationwide and stayed in the 50’s for over 8 weeks as well as #41 in the Roots Radio Report. It received reviews in JazzTimes and 3 1/2 stars in DownBeat.
The new Dave Wilson Quartet released their latest and fourth recording There Was Never on the New York based ZOHO Music Label on Nov 6th, 2015. Recorded at world renowned Red Rock Studios in Saylorsburg, PA by engineer Kent Heckman the disc features an all-star lineup of Bobby Avey-piano, Tony Marino-bass, Alex Ritz-drums, all are alumni of the Dave Liebman Group. The quartet present six Wilson original compositions plus unique and compelling interpretations of three well-known pop classics and Jazz standards including the "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, “Cassidy" by the Grateful Dead, and Gershwin's "Summertime".
Subsequent to the release of There Was Never there were some great performances including CD releases at The Garage in Greenwich Village, N.Y. and Chris' Jazz Cafe as well as master class/concerts at several Pennsylvania area colleges. Additional appearances included The Bethlehem Musikfest, Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Plaza, the Manassas Jazz Festival and others.
The CD received radio airplay in some 40 different markets across the country. For 6 weeks There Was Never was in the top 50 of the nation-wide Jazz Weekly Jazz Radio Countdown, reaching a high of #18 in the nation. It was in Top 11 on Philadelphia's WRTI new releases for several weeks reached high of number 5. The track "Cassidy" was #13 in WRTI'S countdown for the top 100 in 2016. CD was the sole release on the ZOHO label submitted for a Grammy nomination for a Grammy that year.
For over twenty years, Dave has kept an active performance schedule logging an average of 150 dates a year with big bands and small ensembles at concerts, festivals, club dates, private engagements and college master classes and concerts. He has performed at the Media, PA “Jazz by Night” festival, The Berk’s Jazz Fest, Harrisburg’s American Music Festival, Bethlehem Musikfest, Philadelphia's Jazz Bridge Sponsored "Neighborhood Concert Series", headlining at JazzFest in York, PA, The Manassas, VA Wine & Jazz Festival, Herndon, VA Music Festival, Penns Woods Winery Wine and Jazz Festival/"Wine and Jazz Under The Stars", Pittsburgh Cider & Mead Festival, Baltimore's Artscape, Central PA Arts Festival, People’s Choice Art and Music Festival in State College and the Scranton Jazz Festival among others. Dave also performed in New York City at the Somethin' Jazz Club and The Garage and has made regular appearances at the famed Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia for several years now.
Wilson has worked with the likes of pianists Mark Soskin, Jim Ridl, Phil Markowitz, Bobby Avey, Steve Rudolph, Kirk Reese, bassists Tony Marino, Blake Meister, and Steve Varner, drummers Adam Nussbaum, Bill Goodwin, Alex Ritz, Frank Russo, Dan Monaghan, and Marko Marcinko, as well as saxophonist Tim Warfield and Philadelphia based guitarist Steve Giordano among others. During his stint with the Dave Stahl big band he played alongside such Jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Lou Soloff (BS & T), the late Steve Marcus, John Fedchock, Conrad Herwig, Gary Smulyan, Steve Smith (from Journey), John Riley, among others.
His all-star concert appearances feature the likes of such nationally and internationally as well as regionally jazz notables as, on piano-Mark Soskin, Jim Ridl, Bobby Avey, Phil Markowitz, Steve Rudolph, Kirk Reese, Fred Hughes; Bass-Tony Marino, Blake Meister, Steve Varner, Frank Gravis; Drums- Adam Nussbaum, Marko Marcinko, Frank Russo, Alex Ritz, Larry Marshall, Butch Reed.
Wilson resides with his wife Lisa in Lancaster, PA. where, when off stage, he teaches woodwinds and also owns and operates Dave Wilson Musical Instruments, a business focusing on the buying and selling of vintage, modern and student brass and woodwind Instruments. Dave is currently in post production working on a scheduled 2019 release of live recordings from performances at the Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia. PA.