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As an accomplished jazz trumpeter, composer and lyricist, Jake Wilkinson is a multi-faceted
musician. His trumpet playing is soulful, introspective, and highly crafted. His compositions are
tuneful and clear, his lyrics intelligent, contemporary and playful.
Jake began his musical career at age 9, on the trombone. He later switched to trumpet, after being
inspired by the music of Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Since then, Jake has played at major venues
and festivals around the world with such notable groups and musicians as: The Boss Brass, The
Toronto Jazz Quartet, The Powder Blues Band, Long John Baldry, Grant Stewart, Josh Brown
[currently with Michael Bublé], John Hicks, and Liberty Silver. He has released three recordings:
the critically acclaimed jazz record, This Time, and Walking On The World, a singer-songwriter
collaboration, and his latest disc with Michelle Willis, The Game Of Love.
The Berklee College of Music: Boston, MA, 1988.
- Instructor: Wayne Naus [Woody Herman]
The New School of Music: New York, NY, 1990.
- Instructors: Barry Harris, Jimmy Cobb [Miles Davis Quintet], Reggie Workman [John
Coltrane Quartet], Joanne Brackeen and Hal Galper [Phil Woods Quintet].
Royal Conservatory of Music: Toronto, ON, 1994.
- Instructor: James Tinsley [Boston Symphony, Chick Corea]
Private Instruction: New Orleans, LA, 1996.
- In New Orleans, Jake studied the music of Louis Armstrong under the supervision and
guidance of Leroy Jones [soloist with Harry Connick Jr.].
Private Instruction: Toronto, ON.
- Instructors: Rob McConnell, Don Thompson, Bob Mover, James Spragg and Don
SELECTED COMPOSITION CREDITS IN RADIO & FILM
- ‘After Hours’ theme music, CBC Radio
- Noises Off, Atlantic Theatre Company, Nova Scotia (Merritt Award nomination)
- The Dance Trilogy, 3 x 30-second commercial spots, starring Rex Harrington & Evelyn
Hart, The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, Ministry of Health Ontario.
- Death At Dawn, feature film starring Randy Quaid.
“A versatile trumpet ace with Clifford Brown style chops…”
-Ashante Infantry, The Toronto Star
“Jake Wilkinson still handles trumpet with an enviable boldness and enthusiasm plus powerful
-Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star
“The up-tempo Rhythm-a-ning that closed the first set would have provided many another
trumpeter with a chance to blow the proverbial house down. Wilkinson instead fixed a mute into
the bell of his trumpet and launched into a softened, though still dizzy-ing solo without any risk of
over powering the band.”
- Mark Mille, The Globe and Mail
“Despite what may be believed in these days of so much pallid jazz music, not every player can
create worthy material. Ninety percent of what I hear is instantly forgettable, and even the best
don’t hit the gong every time. That noted, I’d guess that Wilkinson has done some serious
selecting for This Time, a jaunty first release of mostly original compositions…this release would
not have sounded out of place in the ‘50s, alongside some Horace Silver, or Cannonball or Jazz
Messengers. It’s catchy, funky, and swings.”
-Ted O'Reilly Whole Note Magazine
“A trumpeter who ranks with Brad Turner as the best young Canadian on that instrument, is and
was, a welcome discovery.”
-Len Dobbin, Dobbin's Den, Montreal
“Jake is one of those rare musicians who really understands the voice of the trumpet. His horn
sings and shouts and whispers. It tells you a story. It lets you in on a secret. It surprises you. It
guides you through songs that are fresh and new, but somehow familiar. It’s the voice of a friend
who knows jazz, inside and out.”
-Andy Sheppard, CBC Radio
“One of the finest jazz trumpeters working today.”
-Andrew Scott, Editor, Coda Magazine