Take Five With Dave Wilson
The first Jazz album I bought was: Something by MJQ. Can't remember what it was called. And then I think it was John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things." And early inspiration was a Paul Butterfield Blues Band double live album that featured Gene Dinwiddie on the tenor.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I like to try to emphasize a certain kind of sincerity and honesty that is coming out of my horn. Whether I am playing my own creative stuff, or a Traditional Jazz gig ( which I love) or a commercial, variety type of job; people can hear that I love what I am doing, I am into it, and that I am sincere about my approach and what I am trying to communicate to the audience.
How would you describe the state of jazz today? With the sorry state of live music, jazz is in even worse shape. I think it is being classicalized; being nudged or shoved into the world of academia, (where at least it stays alive and can grow prosper in this way). As the music slips out of the realm of popular music (which it has been doing since the late 1940's), the gigs get less, and one has to work harder for them. The audience is getting older, and the young
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? For one, Education. In the schools, in the media, in our culture. A public that is of the mind set to support jazz as an art form and as a popular cultural entity. People have to come out to the gig scene and spend money to do so if it calls for it. Again, it is not just jazz but live music. And the performers need to be compensated. How about all these weekend warriors and hobbyists who go around performing for free or tips? Does that help the professional musician? We miss a strong musicians union.
What is in the near future? I have been extremely lucky to average about 150 music jobs/gigs a year since 1990; from jazz to Dixie to Variety to Big Band to ethnic; in my book it is all good. I had 2 jobs this week, I have 4 next week. Central PA has been like an oasis for me and my friends. (Shhh! Don't tell anybody how many gigs we play out here for all these years.)
By Day: Private instructor on woodwinds. 25-30 students now. Proprietor of Dave Wilson's Musical Instruments, specializing in the buying and selling of principally Woodwind and Brass Musical Instruments.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Probably in some kind of marketing or business situation, or possibly a teacher in a school system somewhere.