|Dave Wilson is a leading jazz saxophonist, recording artist, band leader, composer, and educator in the Central PA/ Delaware Valley area, with a very active venue and festival 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. Wilson has evolved into a striking saxophonist with chops and maturity of tone that invokes passions and enthusiasm when listening to his vocabulary in jazz. 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 main area of focus with the saxophone are the Tenor and Soprano, but also focuses on the Alto, and is adept at both Clarinet (his first instrument back in grade school) and 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. The Canal Street Hot 6 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), Pennsylvania Jazz Society, and at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Dave remains very active with this genre, and his current Traditional Jazz Group, the Rampart Street Ramblers, often 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 and played in his Sacred Orchestra and Dave Stahl Big Band. The DSSO released two CD’s which he performed on. 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 continues his work in the area of the "Big Band", and currently performs on a regular basis in largely regional ensembles including the River City Big Band, King Street Big Band (KSSB), the Ben Mauger Vintage Jazz Band, and the Hershey Symphony Big Band, the "Kool Kats", as well as hiring out for an occasional "show".
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, achieved “Chartbound” status in the Jazz Weekly countdown, topping at #51 nationwide, (staying in the 50’s for over 8 weeks), as well as #41 in the Roots Radio Report. It received many positive reviews including those in national publications DownBeat (3 1/2 stars) and JazzTimes, along with several other publications.
The New Dave Wilson Quartet released their latest and fourth recording There Was Never on the New York based ZOHO Music Label, the street date, Nov 6th, 2015. Recorded at world renowned Red Rock Studios, Saylorsburg, Pa, the fantastic Kent Heckman engineering, it features an all-star lineup of Bobby Avey-Piano, Tony Marino-Bass, Alex Ritz-Drums (members of the Dave Liebman Group), performing six original compositions from saxophonist Dave Wilson plus unique and compelling interpretations of three well-known tunes, (including the classic "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys; "Cassidy", by the Grateful Dead, and a unique take on Gershwin's "Summertime"). Subsequent to the release there were some great performances: CD releases at The Garage in Greenwich Village, NY and Chris' Jazz Cafe, master class/concert s at several Pennsylvania area colleges, appearances at the Bethlehem Musikfest, Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Plaza, the Manassas Jazz Festival, among others. For some two months, the CD received radio airplay in some 40 different markets across the country,and for 6 weeks 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 the Top 11 in Philadelphia's WRTI New Releases, for several weeks, reaching a high of number 5. The track "Cassidy" was #13 in WRTI'S countdown for the top 100 in 2016. There was also a great review in the February issue of famed Downbeat Magazine.
Dave 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, 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. He has also been active in college master classes and concerts.
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, 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.
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 and private engagements. 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.