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Presentation and Book Signing: "Softly, with Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music" by Edward Berger

April 17, 2014
Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music" by Edward Berger

"Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music" by Edward Berger

Edward Berger (former Associate Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies) will be presenting a program on his newly published book: Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music. This event will take place on Thursday, April 24, 2014, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and will be held in the Dana Room on the 4th floor of the John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University-Newark.

Trumpeter Joe Wilder has achieved distinction in both the jazz and classical worlds. He was a founding member of the Symphony of the New World, where he played first trumpet, and he performed as lead trumpet and soloist with Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. Wilder is also recognized as a pioneer who broke down racial barriers: the first African American to hold a principal chair in a Broadway show orchestra, and one of the first African Americans to join a network studio orchestra.

In Softly, with Feeling, Edward Berger tells Wilder's remarkable story from his youth in working-class Philadelphia and his apprenticeship in the big bands, to his experience as one of the first 1,000 black Marines during World War II, and his achievements in the worlds of jazz, classical, and popular music. Reminiscences by Wilder and his colleagues, including renowned Philadelphia-area musicians Jimmy Heath and Buddy DeFranco help place Wilder's experiences within a broader context of American musical and social history.