tenor saxist, clarinetist, composer
Edward L. Wilkerson, Jr. is an internationally recognized composer, arranger, musician, and educator based in Chicago. As founder and director of the inventive octet, 8 Bold Souls, and the 25 member performance ensemble, Shadow Vignettes, Wilkerson has toured festivals and concert halls throughout the world. 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 numerous 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. A member of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble since 1977, Wilkerson has also played with such artists and groups as the AACM Big Band, Roscoe Mitchell, Douglas Ewart, The Temptations, Chico Freeman, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Gerri Allen, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Clark Terry, Aretha Franklin and many others.