Tony Wilson began his musical studies in 1981 at Malaspina College in Nanamio, B.C., where he studied composition with Pat Carpenter. He took private guitar instruction from Oliver Gannon. Further schooling, included two summer sessions at the Banff School of the Arts. His teachers there included Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Kevin Eubanks, Steve Coleman, Muhal Richard Abrams and others. Tony has also studied composition privately with multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia and new music composer Georgio Magnenensi.
After moving to Vancouver, B.C. in 1987, he started playing and writing for the sextet Video Barbeque. The group won a West Coast Music Award for their CD “Maximillism”. In 1990 he formed the Tony Wilson Sextet (Tony Wilson-guitar/Kevin Elaschuk-trumpet/Dave Say-saxophones/Peggy Lee-cello/Paul Blaney-bass/Dylan van der Schyff-drums). Their repertoire features original compositions as well as arrangements of the works of jazz luminaries such as Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart, Duke Ellington, to name just a few. Other groups under his leadership include the Tony Wilson Quintet (Tony Wilson-Guitar/Jesse Zubot-violin/J.P. Carter-trumpet/Russll Sholberg-bass/Skye Brooks-drums), Tony Wilson Quartet (Tony Wilson-guitar/Tyson Naylor-organ/Tommy babin-bass/Kenton Loewen-drums), Tony Wilson Trio (Tony Wilson-guitar/Russell sholberg-bass/skye Brooks-dums).
Tony is also very active as a solo performer and recently organized a big band that consists of 3 trumpets, 3 saxes, 2 trombones, cello, violin, 2 guitars, 2 bassist and 2 percussionists.