Al Sears Jazz Festival
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The Al Sears Jazz Festival, founded in 2002 and produced by the City of Macomb, has grown to include the region's top performing jazz artists as well as artist of international fame. Western Illinois University and the Jazz Studies Department have played a significant role in this great festival from its inception with performances by the WIU Steel Band, Jazz Studio Orchestra, and the WIU Hopper Faculty Jazztet.
Performing with the JSO on September 20, 2014 is Glenn Wilson!
Glenn Wilson has been a professional jazz baritone saxophonist for over 35 years. The All Music Guide called him “ an unsung hero in modern jazz ”. After completing his undergraduate degree at Youngstown State University in 1977, Glenn moved to New York City, where he toured and/or recorded with The Buddy Rich Band, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Tito Puente , Machito, Bill Kirchner Nonet, Bob Belden Ensemble , Mel Lewis and scores of other jazz and latin-jazz groups.
Glenn recorded his first CD as a leader, the highly-reviewed Impasse , in 1984 for Cadence Records. In 1988, Glenn began his association with Sunnyside Records with the release of Elusive . Three more CDs with Sunnyside - Bittersweet , Blue Porpoise Avenue , and One Man’s Blues - as well as a recording for Timeless Records, Lee’s Keys Please , followed in the next decade. His latest CD, The Devil’s Hopyard , with his group TromBar i, featuring trombonist Jim Pugh , was released in 2012. Glenn’s new recording, a live quintet date featuring trumpeter John Dearth will be a 2014 release.
“Wilson is a member of that endangered species known as the baritone sax player. For this we should be grateful. He plays with an energy and fire that is characterized by that difficult horn’s best players (Pepper Adams, Harry Carney, Hamiet Bluiett).” - Robert Iannapollo
Glenn has appeared on dozens of jazz recordings as a sideman and his recordings as a leader are featured in the Penguin Guide of Jazz and The Grammophone Guide to GoodJazz , He has also received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and has been featured in the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll.
From 1991-2001 Glenn was an active member of the jazz community in Virginia, Washington DC, and Baltimore. He performed numerous times at The Kennedy Center and Blues Alley Jazz Club. In 1993 he recorded with pianist Bruce Hornsby on Harbor Lights and joined Bruce’s band. With Bruce, he was featured on "VH1 Center Stage" and "Austin City Limits" and received a gold record for his playing and arrangements on Harbor Lights .
Glenn is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Jazz at the University of Illinois in Urbana and teaches Music Business and Jazz Pedagogy as well as leading combos and teaching in the jazz saxophone studio. He enjoys passing it on and is excited to work with young players who love jazz. Glenn has also been playing with Doc Severinsen for the last few years. Glenn can be reached at www.jazzmaniac.com