A native of Hampton, Virginia, saxophonist Steve Wilson began his formal training at age twelve and played in various R&B and funk bands through his teens. While studying music at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, he performed with Jimmy and Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Jaki Byard, Frank Foster, and Ellis Marsalis. In 1987 he moved to New York after joining Blue Note’s “Out of the Blue” group of recording artists. Since then he has been documented on over 100 recordings and has toured and/or recorded with Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, Dianne Reeves, George Duke, Gerald Wilson, Karrin Allyson, Renee Rosnes, Ralph Peterson, Jr., Lionel Hampton, Buck Clayton, Michele Rosewoman, the Mingus Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Charlie Byrd, Donald Brown, Dave Liebman, Louie Bellson, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Don Byron, James Williams, and many others.
He has seven recordings as a leader on the Criss Cross Jazz, Stretch Records, and Max Jazz labels. His current projects include the Steve Wilson Quartet, Generations (with Ben Riley, Mulgrew Miller, and Ray Drummond), and the Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo. He is also a regular member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan, and the Buster Williams Quartet.
As an educator, Wilson has been artist-in residence at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Cityfolk, Inc., in Dayton, Ohio. He frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator in the United States and abroad, and has been on the faculty at William Paterson University, the New School, and City College of New York. In addition to Manhattan School of Music, he is on the faculties of SUNY Purchase and Columbia University.
Manhattan School of Music Faculty member since 2007.