Edward Wilkerson, Jr.
Edward Wilkerson Jr. is an internationally recognized composer, arranger, saxophonist, clarinetist, and educator based in Chicago, where he has been closely associated with the AACM, serving at one time as its president. He first came to prominence as a member of Khalil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, participating in a number of recordings by the group. As founder and director of the cutting-edge octet 8 Bold Souls, and the 25-member Shadow Vignettes ensemble, Wilkerson has toured festivals and concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. “Defender,” a large-scale piece for Shadow Vignettes, was commissioned by the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Fund and featured in the 10th Anniversary of New Music America, a presentation of BAM’s Next Wave Festival. His music can be heard on over a dozen recordings, including two film soundtracks and the critically acclaimed albums Birth of a Notion, and 8 Bold Souls, both on his own Sessoms Records label.