In less than a decade, vocalist Kalil Wilson has become one of the most potent and promising young vocalists of his generation. Gifted with a powerful yet nuanced voice and armed with a technical versatility that positions him comfortably in jazz, R&B, pop, and even classical, Wilson has earned high marks from the music press and has captivated audiences from Barcelona to Berkeley.
As a youngster, he was mentored by the Oakland Youth Chorus and the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley. He went on to earn a spot in UCLA’s Voice and Opera program, performing classical music, while achieving an honors degree in ethnomusicology.
Although he was on track for a successful classical career, Wilson found himself gravitating back to jazz. Encouraged in this pursuit by jazz legend Kenny Burrell, he recorded and released his first album, Easy To Love. The set showcases Wilson’s unique renditions of beloved jazz evergreens plus heartfelt, soulful interpretations of R&B favorites.
Wilson spent over a year traveling and performing in Europe, sharing stages with many jazz greats and even dueting with legendary Cuban vocalist Omara Portuondo in Barcelona. He later performed with guitarist Carlos Santana and the Oakland East Bay Symphony for the world premiere of composer Michael Narada Walden’s The Enchanted Forest: Seven Higher Worlds of Music, and joined Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Cindy Blackman, Zakir Hussain, Dave Holland, and Carlos Santana at the all-star “Celebrating Peace” concert at the Hollywood Bowl.