Home » Jazz Musicians » Abram Wilson

Abram Wilson

Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1975, Abram Wilson was raised along with his four brothers and one sister in New Orleans, Louisiana. The eldest of six children, the entire family including mother, Doris Wilson, and father, Willie C Wilson Jr, had some experience in music. Abram's first inspiration and introduction to music was at the age of five when listening to his father play the guitar and to recordings which his father would play. Soon after being bought a snare drum for Christmas, Abram went on to play drums. At nine, Abram received his first trumpet and after being taught his first note by his mother, he immediately began learning songs from the radio and developing his own method of ear training.

Starting with his first instructor, Lester Wright, Abram quickly became the most advanced in the class, surpassing many of the older students. At 13, he began to display the ability to lead, and was elected to front his 75-piece school band as drum major. That same year, Abram auditioned for the New Orleans Center For Creative Arts (NOCCA), a school specialising in jazz and classical music, among other art forms, and responsible for producing artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr, Donald Harrison, Delfayo Marsalis, and Nicholas Payton, all of whom graduated from the school. Whilst there Abram studied under the tutelage of Clyde Kerr Jr, Ronald Benko, Dr Burt Breaud, and band director, Augustus Walker at O Perry Walker Sr High School, all of whom would further shape his musical direction and raise it to a new level. In 1991, Abram graduated from both schools and was ready to take on new parts of the world.

At 17, Abram was teaching trumpet privately and soon earned a music scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan University. Here, he studied classical trumpet with Larry Griffin and at 22, graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education, qualifying him to teach both choral and instrumental music from kindergarten to college aged students. Abram went on to study at the world renown Eastman Conservatory in Rochester, New York where he attained his masters, studying jazz performance and composition with Ralph Alessi, Mike Cain, and Fred Sturm, and classical trumpet with Barbara Butler. It was also during this time Abram became closely involved with Young Audiences, an organization which brought professional artists to schools to perform and conduct workshops for children. Abram soon found himself performing for groups of up to 250, dealing with subjects like jazz history, groove, music theory, improvisation, and music composition. These workshops proved to be amazingly successful in Rochester, Cleveland and New York and inspired a number of students to pursue careers in music.

Read more





Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.