Cultural Percussionist

Gerald Wilson Day

Gerald Stanley Wilson (September 4, 1918 – September 8, 2014) was an American jazz trumpeter, big band bandleader, composer/arranger, and educator. Born in Mississippi, he was based in Los Angeles from the early 1940s. In addition to being a band leader, Wilson wrote arrangements for Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Julie London, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Nancy Wilson.

Wilson was born in Shelby, Mississippi, and at the age of 16 moved to Detroit, where he graduated from Cass Technical High School (one of his classmates was saxophonist Wardell Gray).

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