Album info

Album-Release:
2020

HRA-Release:
07.08.2020

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Warriors06:56
  • 2Ferguson - An American Tradition07:08
  • 3The Dreamer03:37
  • 4Mary Turner - An American Tradition04:22
  • 5Grace And Mercy06:49
  • 6Part 1. The Key02:46
  • 7Part 2. Saudade07:24
  • 8Part 3. Eulogy05:52
  • 9Part 4. Guarded Heart09:41
  • 10Omega08:47
  • Total Runtime01:03:22

Info for Omega



After making a striking appearance on Joel Ross’ KingMaker, alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins delivers an expansive opus about the Black experience in America on his own debut album Omega, which was produced by Jason Moran and features a next-generation quartet with pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kweku Sumbry.

With powerful pieces like “Mary Turner – An American Tradition” and “Ferguson – An American Tradition,” Wilkins wanted to convey the deep pain his people have endured in this country for centuries. That message lands harder in 2020, as the world struggles through a global pandemic, and cities across America are uprising due to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, three unarmed Black people who died at the hands of whites.

The pain is balanced with joy, too, as on the opening track “Warriors,” a bright tune that celebrates the love that’s closest to you. “It’s about friendships, family, your hood, and your community,” Wilkins says. “It’s about us serving as warriors for whatever we believe in.”

“Immanuel has always been leaning forward into the music,” says Moran. “He is a powerful player. He blends traditions in a way that only his generation knows how to do. His band is set to begin a new mode that I look forward to hearing develop. The future of the music rests with these musicians, and I trust their noses.”

Immanuel Wilkins, 22, grew up in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. After he graduated high school, Wilkins moved to New York City in 2015 to attend The Juilliard School. In the city, he met trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire, who mentored Wilkins and helped him navigate the jazz scene. He also met a musician who would change his professional life, Jason Moran, the prominent pianist and composer who took the young saxophonist on tour. In what was one of Wilkins’ biggest gigs to date, he played alto in Moran’s “In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959,” a series of live performances honoring the great legacy of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Wilkins has since worked with a diverse range of artists including Solange Knowles, Gretchen Parlato, Wynton Marsalis, Gerald Clayton, Aaron Parks, and Joel Ross, making a striking appearance on the vibraphonist’s 2019 Blue Note debut KingMaker.

Immanuel Wilkins, alto saxophone
Micah Thomas, piano
Daryl Johns, double bass
Kweku Sumbry, drums

Produced by Jason Moran



Immanuel Wilkins
is a Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger, and Bandleader from the greater Philadelphia-area. While growing up, he honed his skills in the church and studied in programs dedicated to teaching jazz music like the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. Moving to New York in 2015, Immanuel proceeded to earn his bachelor’s degree in Music at Juillard (studying with the saxophonists Bruce Williams and the late Joe Temperley) while simultaneously establishing himself as an in-demand sideman, touring in Japan, Europe, South America, The United Arab Emirates, and the United States and working and/or recording with artists like Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joel Ross, Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton, Gretchen Parlato, Lalah Hathaway, Solange Knowles, Bob Dylan, and Wynton Marsalis to name just a few. It was also during this same period that he formed his quartet featuring his long-time bandmates: Micah Thomas (piano), Daryl Johns (bass) and Kweku Sumbry (drums).

Being a bandleader and having a working group for over four years has allowed Immanuel to grow both as a composer and arranger — and has led to him receiving a number of commissions including, most recently, from The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, The Jazz Gallery Artist Residency Commission Program (A collaboration with Sidra Bell Dance NY, 2020 ) and The Kimmel Center Artist in Residence for 2020 ( a collaboration with photographer Rog Walker and videographer David Dempewolf) Being emerged in the scene at a young age and sharing the stage with various jazz masters, has inspired Immanuel to pursue his goal of being a positive force in music and society. This includes quite an impressive resumé as an educator. In addition to teaching at NYU and the New School, he has taught and given master classes and clinics at schools/venues like Oberlin, Yale and the Kimmel Center.

Ultimately, Immanuel’s mission is to create a sound that has a profound spiritual and emotional impact which will allow him to become a great leader in the long lineage of jazz musicians. Through studying the human pathos of the music and the culture of jazz, Immanuel aspires to bring people together through the commonality of love and belief in this music. His debut recording, Omega — produced by Jason Moran— will be released on Blue Note Recordings on August 7, 2020.

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