Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music, by Edward Berger
Sadly, trumpeter Joe Wilder passed away last week at the age of 92. He was a long-time member of our museum family as an educator, panelist, interviewee and friend. Fortunately, author/Grammy-award winning producer and former associate director of the Institute of Jazz Studies Ed Berger was able to finish his decade-long work on his Wilder biography and present a copy to Joe just a few weeks ago. Join us as Mr. Berger hosts an evening celebrating the publication of this masterful book. Berger’s previous biographies of Benny Carter, George Duvivier and Teddy Reig are highly acclaimed as being the best in jazz biography. Berger will discuss Wilder’s childhood in Philadelphia; radio debut on Parisian Tailors Colored Kiddies of the Air in 1932; development as a musician; experiences at the Mastbaum school; transition from classical to jazz; apprenticeship in local bands and turning professional; road experiences with Les Hite, Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, etc.; experience in the military as one of first contingent of black marines; pioneering role in the integration of Broadway and network orchestras; return to classical music; freelancing and the studio life; teaching at Juilliard and other institutions.