Abram Wilson performing Philippa at Pizza Express Jazz Club on 4th April 2012

Photograph - Benjamin Amure

Abram's wife, Jennie, family and close colleagues are establishing The Abram Wilson Foundation. 

It will ensure that all those who were touched by Abram's work - followers, students and collaborators alike, have an opportunity to continue to appreciate his gifts: his recordings, ideas, uplifting enthusiasm and belief in the power of music.  Abram was developing numerous projects and had exciting plans to get people playing and listening to great jazz.  The Abram Wilson Foundation is committed to enabling his plans and allowing his music to live on for people to learn and be inspired.

To kick start the Foundation we would like to complete Abram’s final project Philippa.  This project will serve as a tribute and lasting memory to the life of an artist whose music and joy had such a profound impact on the thousands of people he came into contact with throughout his career.

Before Abram died he told us he still had so much he wanted to do, we hope that his Foundation will enable us to fulfuil his dreams and keep his legacy alive.

If you would like to make a donation then please follow this link for more details:



We would like to thank you all for your messages of support over the last couple of weeks, it has been very moving to see just how many lives Abram touched during his time with us.


Abram will be laid to rest in Utica, Mississippi at a private, family ceremony on Saturday 23rd June.


There will be a public memorial service to celebrate Abram's life in London on Wednesday 25th July.  We will begin the afternoon with a New Orleans style funeral procession starting at 1:30pm near St John's Church, Waterloo Road, SE1 8TY.  The exact meeting point for the procession will be confirmed at a later date. 

The procession will lead us into St John's Church where the memorial service will begin at 2pm.  We very much hope that you will be able to join us to remember Abram - his enthusiasm and joy for music and life. 


Dress code: This is a celebration of life and Abram loved colours, therefore please wear something colourful!


In honour of Abram and the work he still had left to do, we are establishing a foundation.  To kick start the foundation we would like to complete one of Abram's final projects, Philippa.  We would ask that you consider a donation to this project instead of condolence cards or flowers.


In the next few days we should be able to send you an update on how you can donate. Please keep checking back for more details. 


It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that yesterday afternoon Abram left this earth for a new life in the stars.  It was where he was always aiming and where he now belongs.

He was an inspiring and wonderful man, one of the world's best jazz trumpeters and a gifted educator and composer.  He has touched so many people's lives with his "warmth, passion, virtuosity and soul" and will want to be remembered as such.

We would ask you to respect the privacy of his family and close friends at this difficult time. We will let you know in due course when appropriate arrangements have been made so that everyone has an opportunity to say goodbye.

"He's a bad mother*!%&^ who can play his ass off"...........DR JOHN.........


THE GOOD NEWS - Last week I was on tour with my quartet (Alex Davis on bass, Dave Hamblett on drums and Reuben James on piano) performing Philippa far and wide from the very north of the UK in County Durham to the very South in Cornwall.  We had a fantastic time and met some great people at Bishop Auckland Town Hall (where I also played with the awesome Durham County Youth Big Band), North Devon Jazz in Appledore, St Ives Jazz Club and Teignmouth Jazz Club.  I also did a day of teaching at Truro College in Cornwall which I really enjoyed.

We didn't have a lot of reception during the trip so status updates, tweets and uploading photos was difficult, instead you can see them all in one go here. I hope you enjoy them!

THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS - Unfortunately I'm not very well and as a result we've had to cancel some really great gigs, the first was today at Birmingham Symphony Hall were I was going to be conducting 270 kids perform a new piece I'd composed called Time I Met The Blues the second is this coming Saturday at Kings Place with my quartet.

Hopefully I'll be back on the road soon. 



Music at Southampton has appointed two leading international artists as the inaugural Turner Sims Professors of Music 

I'm really excited to be able to announce that I have been appointed Turner Sims Professor by Southampton University along with baroque violinist Adrian Chandler. 

It's a real honor to be part of such a great university and fantastic venue where I have had the pleasure of playing and delivering educational workshops for a number of years.  I'm looking forward to working with Head of Music, Andrew Pinnock at the University's music department and Kevin Appleby, Concert Hall Manager at Turner Sims on a range of jazz programmes and events over the next two years. 

For the full press release click HERE




The New Orleans-born trumpeter, educator and composer, Abram Wilson has been announced as an Associate Artist of Jazzlines, Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s dynamic new strand of jazz concert programming and inspirational education work. Abram Wilson is one of today’s leading musicians on the UK and European jazz scenes receiving widespread critical acclaim as a solo artist, band leader and composer. In his first major project as Jazzlines Associate Artist, Abram Wilson has led over 200 local school children in a series of rehearsals where they have learnt a specially commissioned piece composed by him. This exciting project will culminate in a public performance at Symphony Hall on 28 May 2012 as part of the annual Ladywood Showcase.

The Jazzlines programme, which was launched in April, is produced by Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam, building on their hugely successful work as the creative forces behind Birmingham Jazz. It is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme. Tony Dudley-Evans, Jazzlines Artistic Adviser said, “Birmingham’s jazz scene has a worldwide reputation, both for the variety of programmes and the quality of presentation and Jazzlines will continue this by nurturing young players, commissioning new work and running national tours. Our intention is also to present some more high profile jazz groups within both Town Hall and Symphony Hall.”

Abram Wilson said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity of becoming an Associate Artist of Town Hall and Symphony Hall, working in association with Jazzlines. It’s a relationship I believe has been nurtured over the years and our vision has always remained the same: to bring jazz music to as many young people as possible and to uplift the community through jazz music.”



After another sell out gig and a standing ovation at Bedales near Petersfield we are on our way to Cheltenham Jazz Festival for our third gig of the Abram Wilson Olympic Septet tour. We're peforming at 12:30PM TOMORROW (Monday 7th) at the Jazz Arena.  Before that my quartet is doing a family show at 10:30AM.

Here's a sneak preview of a couple of tunes, Pokarekare Ana and A Caminha.




"The New Orleanian trumpeter lets his charisma shine through between a raft of memorable solos"...THE EVENING STANDARD

The premiere of my new Olympic septet project, Running With The Flame, performed to a sell out show at London's most presitgious jazz venue, Ronnie Scott's on Wednesday night.

For two hours we transported our London audience to the warm weather of Australia, India, Sudan, China, New Orleans, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa as well as the colder temperatures of Russia with a collection of international folk songs arranged in a unique style rooted directly in the jazz tradition.

My highly acclaimed regular quartet grew to seven with the strong presence of the legendary Peter King on alto sax, Jean Toussaint on tenor sax and Trevor Mires on trombone.  I had a great time playing with such awesome musicians and we worked hard to give people a global perspective of jazz music whilst swinging hard, playin' the blues and improvising at the highest level!

Next stop Bedales Arts in Petersfield TONIGHT followed by Cheltenham Jazz Festival on MONDAY 7th.



4th May - Bedales Arts, Petersfield

7th May - Cheltenham Jazz Festival

8th June - Taliesin Arts, Swansea

14th July - Swanage Jazz Club 

26th July - The Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking

29th July - Hull Jazz Festival 


Abram Wilson Quartet photo credit: Benjamin Amure 

Peter King (alto sax) Jean Toussaint (tenor sax)
Trevor Mires (trombone) 

Next Wednesday 2nd May I'm going to be headlining at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London for the first time since arriving in London 10 years ago. 

I'll be leading my newly formed septet, which features the legendary Peter King, Jean Toussaint (Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers) and my man Trevor Mires.  And of course the band wouldn't be complete without regular band members Alex Davis (double bass), Dave Hamblett (drums) and Reuben James (piano). 

We'll be kicking off the start of seven dates where we'll be performing 'Running With The Flame', original jazz arrangements inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and traditional folk songs from around the world including Scarborough Fair, made famous by Simon & Garfunkel.  I have to say...I'm EXCITED. 


2nd May - Ronnie Scott's, London

4th May - Bedales Arts, Petersfield

7th May - Cheltenham Jazz Festival

8th June - Taliesin Arts, Swansea

14th July - Swanage Jazz Club 

26th July - The Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking

29th July - Hull Jazz Festival 


photo: Ben Amure
(Randolph Hotel 6th April 2012, part of Oxford Jazz Festival. Review by Alison Bentley)

Trumpeter Abram Wilson brought a little bit of New Orleans to Oxfords's very English Randolph Hotel. By the end of the show, the audience were on their feet cheering as Abram walked out still soloing and the band carried on playing the blues. In the foyer you could tell who'd been to the gig by the smiles on their faces.

Abram had taken us through the life of mixed-race New Orleans piano prodigy and political journalist Philippa Duke Schuyler- his original tunes were linked together by the narrative. Different scenes from Philippa's life inspired various moods, and the audience was drawn in to the story from the start.

Some tunes expressed her childhood innocence and passion for life. Adventures in Black and White opened the set, with its modal chord sequence, propulsive bass and sensitive drum fills. Abram communicated warmly and passionately in both his narration and playing. The lyrical playing of fellow New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard sprang to mind, and the bluesy keening and musical humour of Jack Walrath. Abrams plays like a singer, with beautiful phrasing that never loses the listener's attention. He plays as if he means every note.

In Goldfish and the Wolf, with its sense of childhood wonder, we heard Abram singing in his soft tone with a Stevie Wonder-like sweet vibrato. The Harlemites celebrated Harlem's cultural richness. Abram promised the bright chords would be uplifting, and indeed they were. Reuben James' strong motivic piano soloing stood out, with its swaggering McCoy Tyner-ish chords, rhythmic stabs and cross-rhythms.

Other tunes expressed Philippa's ambivalence about her racial identity: the Naima-ish ballad Longing for Love (beautifully sung and played from the heart by Abram) and the fast swing of Lord Have Mercy. In Trouble on the Home Front Abram played exciting high trills and squeals over its afro-latin grooves and almost rock piano riffs.

Philippa became disillusioned by white treatment of black musicians. In Find a New Soul, her move into journalism was portrayed by the clattering urgency of a TV news theme, 60s afro-latin grooves and Debussyesque piano chords to depict her journalism in the far east. The audience especially loved this one.

The dark thrum of The Cogdells recalled the Texan racism of Philippa's maternal family. Its edgy broken rhythms atonal melody moved into a dark minor groove in 5/4 . Dave Hamblett's drum solo had lots of energy, sparkling cymbals and a big sound

As the audience yelled for more, Hidden Blues started like a Jelly Roll Morton stomp with an Armstrongy trumpet feel, a fine rootsy bass solo by Alex Davis, swinging blues and huge sense of fun.

This young British band is in the middle of a tour to celebrate 10 years of Abram Wilson living in the UK, but he has New Orleans in his soul.