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Canadian Heritage

Jake Wilkinson


JAKE WILKINSON (pianist, trumpeter, trombonist) was born in England in 1971. His family moved to Denmark when he was just three years old, and came to Canada in 1978. He was nine when he began studying slide trombone, playing in local community bands, orchestras, and rock groups. At 16, while at the Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto, he developed a more serious interest in music as a career, switching to valve trombone and pursuing piano studies. It was also at this time he began studying privately with valve trombonist Rob McConnell.

Wilkinson began studying with Joanne Brackeen on a scholarship at the New School Of Music in New York in 1990. He had the opportunity there to play with established performers including Larry Willis, Cecil Payne, and Brad Meldhau, before returning to Toronto in 1991. At home he once again changed instruments to concentrate on the trumpet and spent much of the following year studying in New York with support from the Canada Council.

Jake Wilkinson has worked with Bob Mover and Don Thompson in the ‘Toronto Jazz Quartet’; the Norman Marshall Villeneuve Sextet, and his own quintet. He has recorded with vocalists Liberty Silver and Priscilla Wright and done numerous recording dates for the CBC's ‘JazzBeat’ program. He performed on two separate occasions in the “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert Series at the Ontario Science Centre – as a member of the ‘Toronto Jazz Quartet on October 23, 1995, and as leader of Jake Wilkinson and ‘The Funky Boot Brass Band’ on December 14, 1998.