Immanuel Wilkins Quartet


Belgrade Youth Center, Main Hall

Immanuel Wilkins – alto saxophone

Micah Thomas - piano

Rick Rosato – bass

Kweku Sumbry – drums

Jazz history has never witnessed such a rapid rise to stardom as by alto saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins (1997). He grew up in Upper Darby near Philadelphia, had his first contact with music in church, and received his first formal jazz education at Philadelphia's Clef Club for Jazz and Performing Arts. At eighteen, he entered the famous Juilliard School in New York – his first mentor in the Big Apple was Ambrose Akinmusire, who helped him quickly find a place on the live jazz scene. Two years later, Wilkins is already the youngest member in Jason Moran's ambitious multimedia project In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959. He started his own band, while working with Gerald Clayton, Dezron Douglas, E.J. Strickland, Gretchen Parlato, Jonathan Blake, Harish Raghavan, Michael Dease, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan and Wynton Marsalis also.

In 2019, he participated in the making of the vibraphonist Joel Ross' debut album KingMaker with the legendary Blue Note label (he will also play on Ross' next album Who are you? released in 2020). He immediately caught the eye of the label's president, Don Was, as well as world critics. They have already seen him as the next jazz star. A year later, he made his debut in the Blue Note family with the album Omega in a quartet format, declared by The New York Times critics the jazz release of the year. Earlier this year, he released his second album, The 7th Hand, on the same label, earning the most prominent recognition so far – the title of the best alto saxophonist in the world in the Jazz Journalists Association poll, leaving behind Henry Threadgill, Kenny Garrett, Miguel Zenón and Darius Jones.