Born in Berkeley, Wiley studied the saxophone in high school, and was selected to be a member of the Grammy All-American Jazz Band. The following year, he was selected to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’s All-Star Band, who performed with jazz greats including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Gerald Albright, and many others. Wiley then received a scholarship to Berklee School of Music, where he would graduate with honors. During his time with the Institute, Howard also met and collaborated with other rising stars of Jazz in Los Angeles, including Kamasi Washington, Tony Austin, Miles Mosley and other members that would form the collective the West Coast Get Down.
At the age of 15, he released his first CD as a bandleader. In 2007, Wiley released his third album, The Angola Project, comprising ensemble pieces inspired by 1950s recordings from Angola State Prison.
Wiley’s love of jazz and arranging led him to fuse his jazz sounds with funk. Ever the soulful live musician, Howard has built a strong reputation for presenting jazz shows ‘that you can dance to’. He’s accompanied other artists and performed his solo project at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Fest, Cape Town Jazz Festival, Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Sonoma Jazz Festival the Blue Note, Madrone Art Bar, The Grammy Museum, Yoshi’s Oakland, and SXSW to name a few.
He has toured internationally, recorded and performed with artists including Miss Lauryn Hill, Sheila E, Cory Henry, Christian McBride, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Dayna Sean Stephens, Lavay Smith, Norman Brown, and Chester Thompson.