“The music scene out here is not really poppin’,” said Wilson. “But I think Brentwood is a community that would support that kind of thing. I’d love to start a fire out here and blow it up.”
Figuratively, that is. Wilson, 30, along with some of his San Francisco-based Grammy-Award-winning buddies, is hoping to light that fire under jazz lovers here in East County, and they’re starting with Cap’s Oak Street Bar & Grill.
On Friday, March 25, Wilson, Jeff Marrs, Mike Abraham and a to-be-announced special guest, will be jazzing it up at the Oak Street restaurant where Wilson, coincidentally, played his first gig. But even if your tastes gravitate to rock-n-roll or pop, there will be something, Wilson promises, for everyone.
“You’re not going to find a mosh-pit at a jazz show, but you will enjoy the music,” said Wilson. “The crazy thing about jazz is that so many other genres came out of it, like R&B and funk. It’s a compilation of a lot of other sounds.”
Wilson’s love of all things musical has led him down a prodigious path as teacher, musician and now, event coordinator. Frustrated by what he perceives as a lack of jazz forums in Brentwood and a general decline in jazz clubs throughout the East Bay, the bass-playing performer figured if he wanted to hear some serious sounds in East County, he’d need to bring it on himself.
Growing up in Brentwood, the Liberty High School grad always figured he would become a music teacher, and in fact taught for a time at Edna Hill Middle School. But the call to perform professionally was strong, and so “I started giggin’ for cash when I was 15,” he said, and he’s found a way to play for the crowds and teach them as well.
“I teach privately here in town and still am able to play professionally and write and produce too,” said Wilson who is currently a member of three bands. “And now I’m trying to promote jazz out here; specifically San Francisco jazz. It’s a totally different sound than other kinds of jazz.”
And although Wilson is a classically trained jazz musician, he admits his heart beats just a little faster for the music of such legends as Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
“I love funk,” said Wilson, whose heroes include Larry Graham and Les Claypool. “But really, I love all kinds of music.”
And it’s that love that Wilson is counting on to attract an audience to the Cap’s performance. If successful, he hopes such events will become regular, monthly happenings.
“That would be great,” said Wilson. “We’ll see how it goes. I hope people will come out and expect to see something they haven’t seen before. I promise they won’t be disappointed.”
The jazz event will be held at Cap’s, 144 Oak St.; on Friday, March 25 from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. No one under 21 will be admitted. For more information, e-mail Wilson at email@example.com.