Jazz Guitar Master
Guitarist Jack Wilkins has been on the International jazz scene since the early 1970’s. His flawless technique and imaginative chordal approach have inspired collaborations with Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Bob Brookmeyer, and Buddy Rich among many others. A native of Brooklyn, Jack began playing guitar at age thirteen. His mentors included Johnny Smith, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Bill Evans, Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard.
“Windows”, his first album as a leader (Mainstream, 1973,) also available in transcription published by Hal Leonard Publications has been critically acclaimed as a dazzling, seminal guitar trio work.
Later recordings, “Merge”, “Mexico”, “Call Him Reckless”, “Alien Army”, “Keep in Touch”, and “Trioart”, feature the Brecker Brothers, Eddie Gomez, Jack De Johnette, Al Foster, Phil Woods, Kenny Drew, Jr., and many others. Project G7, a two CD set tribute to Wes Montgomery, features Kenny Burrell among others.
In recent years, Jack has played many international festivals with jazz greats Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Heath, The Mingus Epitaph, 5 Guitars play Mingus, Red Rodney, Ira Sullivan, Johnny Griffin and others.
A consummate accompanist, Wilkins has played and recorded with renowned singers Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Morgana King, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennett, Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Marano, Chris Conner, Cassandra Wilson, and Jay Clayton. Wilkins was awarded an NEA grant in recognition of his work and contribution to the guitar. He has been widely and prominently profiled in such publications as Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar, Downbeat, 20th Century Guitar and Leonard Feather’s Jazz Encyclopedia. Jack was invited to the Smithsonian Institution as part of the Blue Guitars exhibit, and appeared on the P.S. I. first live jazz Internet concert. He was also featured on the J.V.C. festival tributes to Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Herb Ellis, and Barney Kessel
Wilkins teaches at The New School, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, and LIU. He was invited to judge the Monk Institute Guitar Competitions in Washington. He also conducts seminars on the “Great American Songbook”, and guitar clinics, both in New York and abroad. His latest CD’s, “Reunion”, “Christmas Jazz Guitar” the DVD”s, “The Benedetto Players in Concert”, “The Benedetto Players and Guild Jazz Masters”, and “Jazz Guitar Workshop” are all currently available. A new CD is now available called “Until It’s Time” on the Maxjazz label.