Joe Wilder Memorial Broadcast: Monday May 12, 2am-9pm
Join us at WKCR as we honor the life and music of Joe Wilder, who passed away on Friday at the age of 92. On Monday from 2:00 am to 9:00 pm we will be preempting all regularly scheduled programming to celebrate his contributions to the world of music. Well known for his trumpet playing in the orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and others, Wilder enjoyed a long career as a versatile musician not only in jazz but in classical music and Broadway musicals as well. During World War II, he was one of the first thousand African Americans to serve in the Marines, and he went on to become Assistant Bandmaster at the headquarters’ band. After that, he played in the orchestras of Jimmie Lunceford, Herbie Fields, Lucky Millinder, and Dizzy Gillespie. A highly sought-after sideman for decades, Wilder also performed regularly with musicians such as Hank Jones, Gil Evans, and Billie Holiday. In 1953, he earned a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied classical trumpet, and in the following years he fulfilled his life-long dream of performing classical music, playing with the New York Philharmonic and the Symphony Of The New World. In 2008 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters Award—the highest honor in jazz that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians. Tune in tomorrow as we pay tribute to the man who gave us so much.