Flexible, subtle drummer Matt Wilson gained a strong reputation with his debut recording as a leader, a 1996 set for Palmetto that prominently features tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman. Wilson started playing drums in grade school; he studied at Wichita State University and spent time in the Midwest, both as a freelancer and as a teacher. In 1987 he moved to Boston, where he was soon playing with the Either/Orchestra and the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet. In 1992 Wilson relocated to New York, where he has since played with Redman, Cecil McBee, Lee Konitz, Fred Hersch, Tim Hagans, Ingrid Jensen, and others, appearing on a couple dozen records as a sideman. Other headlining dates include 1998’s Going Once, Going Twice and 1999’sSmile. Arts & Crafts followed in early 2001. After releasing another quartet album with 2003’s Humidity, Wilson returned to his Arts & Crafts ensemble with 2004’s Wake Up! (To What’s Happening). He stuck with the same group for The Scenic Route, released in 2007, the same year that Big Picture was issued on the Cryptogramophone label by Trio M, a freewheeling collaborative group featuring Wilson along with pianist Myra Melford and bassist Mark Dresser. In 2009, Wilson returned to his own quartet lineup for That’s Gonna Leave a Mark. Wilson delivered the holiday-themed Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O in 2010. A year later, Wilson appeared on the Trio M album, Guest House. In 2012, he returned to his Arts & Crafts ensemble with the album An Attitude for Gratitude. Wilson next paired with pianist John Medeski for 2014’s Gathering Call. ~ Scott Yanow
Matt Wilson has appeared on the Litchfield Jazz Festival nineteen times in eighteen years with various groups; his quartet, his quartet plus strings, his Arts & Crafts group and with Mario Pavone, Dewey Redman, Bill Mays, Denny Zeitlin, Dena DeRose, Lee Konitz, Helio Alves, Charlie Haden, Lindsey Muir, a Salute to George Coleman with Gary Smulyan and Eric Alexander and Gary Smulyan’s Baritone Summit. Matt has been a resident artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp since 2010.