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Jazz Great Gerald Wilson to Speak at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

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DETROIT--The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in partnership with Detroit Jazz Fest will present “A Conversation with Gerald Wilson" in the General Motors Auditorium, Saturday, December 1, at 3pm, as part of the Noel Night festivities in the University District. The event is free and open to the public.

Joining Gerald Wilson in a walk through his life and music will be WDET/Detroit's own “voice of jazz" Ed Love, and attorney Jeff Collins.

The presentation is the first of many collaborations with which the Detroit Jazz Fest will be engaged throughout the year. “Jazz Fest is no longer simply a weekend event," says executive director Terri Pontremoli. “We plan to partner on many activities with the organizations who teach and present jazz in the area. It is one of the ways we can perpetuate Detroit's significant jazz legacy. As Gerald is important to jazz and Detroit, it's great to have this event at the Charles Wright."

All About Jazz has called Gerald Wilson “one of the greatest composers and arrangers in the history of jazz." The 89 year-old NEA Jazz Master lives up to this accolade on two Grammy-nominated cds - New York, New Sound and In My Time - on Mack Avenue Records.

A graduate of Cass Tech, the Mississippi-born composer attributes his musical inspiration and training to Detroit for being one of the first truly integrated cities. In his youth, Detroit Public Schools had flourishing music programs and the city boasted a lively jazz scene. At the age of 20, he joined the Jimmie Lunceford Band, and later played in the trumpet sections of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras. A long-time Los Angeles resident, he still leads his own West Coast band, and was recently commissioned for a piece in honor of Monterey Jazz Festival's 50th anniversary. He also teaches at the University of California in Los Angeles.

The “conversation" will include music, stories, a peak of his newest release and questions from the audience. For more information, contact the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 313-494-5800 or info@detroitjazzfest.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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