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Jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins' flawless technique and imaginative chordal approach has inspired collaborations with many legendary performers. This CD presents guitar ensemble arrangements of many traditional Christmas favorites as well as an arrangement of a folk tune that appeared in the movie A Christmas Carol and one original tune. Pleasing, light listening for a beautiful time of the year.
For more than four decades Jack Wilkins has played an important role in the New York jazz community. His list of credentials and past performances reads like Whoâs Who of Jazz. Over the years he has backed many of finest jazz singers from Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Morgana King, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, to the Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Marano, Stanley Turrentine and Jay Clayton. Most recently, Wilkins has shared the stage with jazz greats: Jimmy Heath, The Mingus Epitaph and jazz bassist Eddie Gomez.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Jack began playing the guitar at the early age of ten. His childhood idols included Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Johnny Smith. In 1973, at the age of 29, Jack recorded his first album as a leader. Since then he has recorded numerous projects on many different labels including his first release with Mel Bay Records.
Besides his extensive recording and performing career, Jack Wilkins has written several books as a Mel Bay author and recently was featured in a live concert DVD with his friend and fellow jazz guitarist, Jimmy Bruno entitled Jimmy Bruno and Jack Wilkins: Live from The Theatre in Washington, Virginia presented by The Benedetto Players and Mel Bay Records.
Jack Wilkins has been awarded an NEA grant in recognition of his artistic achievement and contributions to guitar. He was invited to the Smithsonian Institution to take part in the "Blue Guitars" exhibit, and appeared on the P.S. I. first live jazz Internet concert. He was also featured as part of the J.V.C. New York festival tribute to Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow and Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel.
Jack Wilkins teaches at The New School and Manhattan School of Music and frequently conducts seminars and guitar clinics, both in New York and abroad.