Wayne Wilkinson is a headliner guitarist that performs and tours across the country and internationally. Throughout his over four decade career, Wayne has shared the stage with iconic jazz musicians, world class performers and a President of the United States.
Wilkinson, an artist with Benedetto guitars and GHS Strings, is known for his high-octane melodic playing which jazz trombone legend Bill Watrous said “is the greatest guitar playing I’ve ever heard.”
Wilkinson’s group, The Wayne Wilkinson Trio, performs a mix of straight ahead and traditional jazz and American songbook standards, innovative jazz arrangements of other music genres, and inspired original compositions. Recent performances have included the London, Tel Aviv, and Vail Jazz Festivals concerts jazz clubs recital series jazz parties jazz and swing societies and private venues.
As a faculty member at the nationally accredited Colorado Springs Conservatory, Wilkinson helped establish the Jazz program. He also just completed ten years as an adjunct professor for Jazz Guitar at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Wayne conducts master classes and clinics at universities and conservatories across the country.
Wilkinson has played at the White House, Carnegie Hall and at major jazz and music festivals with the premier Air Force Jazz Ensembles “The Airmen of Note” in Washington, D.C. and the “Falconaires” in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Quotes about Wayne Wilkinson: “In my life I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more magnificent guitar player than Wayne.” Bill Watrous, world-renowned jazz trombonist. “One hell of a guitar player.” Johnny Smith, legendary jazz guitarist. “Considered by many musicians to be one of the best, most underrated jazz guitarists in the country, if not the world, Wilkinson turns any song, no matter the style, into his own personal signature.” Carol Banks Weber, Jazz Music Examiner. “Wayne is a jazz guitar virtuoso.” Dick Fairley, Jazz Excursion host.
Some of the musicians Wilkinson has played with include: Bill Watrous, Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Smith, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Nicki Parrot, Chuck Redd, Houston Person, Nelson Rangell, Harry Allen, Lenore Raphael, Ed Polcer, Allan Vache, Bria Skonberg, Ken Paplowski, Adrian Cunningham, Henry Mancini, Joe Williams, Ernie Watts, James Moody and Stanley Turrentine. Other people he’s played with in his career are President Clinton, Jack Jones, Dianne Schuur, Bob Hope, Roger Williams, and Louis Belson. He is a repeat guest performer with Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz.
Wilkinson’s latest CD, “Proceed To Route,” is his eighth independent label recording and the first as the Wayne Wilkinson Trio.
Wayne is a Benedetto Guitar Artist and plays the Benedetto Bravo Elite, Bambino and Ben-Bino Jazz Guitars. He is also a GHS Strings artist, using custom gauged nickel rockers. Wayne uses the Henriksen Jazz, Bud, and Forte amplifiers.