Steve Wilson, who’s well known as an especially skilled and sensitive jazz saxophonist, is scheduled to make his orchestral debut at the Vermont Mozart Festival on July 25. Accompanied by the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, under the direction of Gil Shohat, Wilson will perform Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra.” Of that piece, Wilson says, “[It] is one of the signature concertos for saxophone, and it is perfectly conceived for the voice of the soprano saxophone particularly.”
Three days earlier, Wilson’s regular quartet (pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Joe Saylor) will perform a jazz set at the Mozart Festival that will feature original material and selections from the Great American Songbook. Festival founder and artistic director Mel Kaplan conceived the pair of performances as a vehicle to introduce Wilson’s extraordinary range to an audience more accustomed to straightahead classical/chamber artists.
In addition to his appearances at the Mozart Festival, Wilson is quite busy on the road these days. He’ll finish out the month of June by performing several shows with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, then tour Japan and Europe in July with Christian McBride and Inside Straight. For more information on the saxman’s whereabouts and the Vermont Mozart Festival, go to www.stevewilsonmusic.com and www.vtmozart.org.
Steve Wilson at the Vermont Mozart Festival
July 22: The Steve Wilson Quartet performs at Grand Isle Lake House in Grand Isle, Vermont, at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 for picnicking. General admission: $30.50.
July 25: Wilson performs “Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra” at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:15. General admission: $30.50.