Brandon Wilkins was born into a very musically supportive family. With a father who worked as a tech/tour manager for many world class musicians, and a mother who worked for a large international instrument manufacturer, Brandon was set up perfectly for his chosen career. When he was 10, Brandon followed in his father’s footsteps and played drums in the school band. While he took to it well, he really wanted to learn saxophone instead, so he could play the melodies in band.
With the saxophone, Brandon explored a range of musical styles and found his place with his early influences including David Sanborn, Grover Washington Jr., Charlie Parker, and Dexter Gordon. Brandon’s interest in saxophone also blossomed into a curiosity for all woodwinds, starting with clarinet and flute, and by high school, the oboe. As his passion grew, Brandon wanted take music more seriously and pursue it as a profession. With his parent’s support, he attended the 5-Week Summer Program at Berklee College of Music. There, everything clicked into place and he knew that Berklee was where he wanted to study. In the fall of 2011, Brandon started his studies at Berklee College of Music, majoring in Performance and Jazz Composition.
At Berklee, Brandon was surrounded by incredible musicians his age, who pushed him to be his very best. He studied with stellar teachers including George Garzone, Greg Hopkins, Dave Santoro, Phil Wilson, and Jim Odgren. He also had amazing opportunities through school to perform with contemporary greats such as Julian Lage, Kendrick Scott, and Anat Cohen. As Brandon neared the end of his studies, he set his sights on New York City, where he had wanted to live since he was a child.
Brandon moved to New York in the summer of 2016. His saxophone playing was welcomed and he was fortunate to play at La Lanterna di Vittorio (Bar Next Door), HB Studio, Pianos, Swing 46 with the David Berger Big Band, and with his own band EnRah, at the ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn. While musically his experience was positive, he still struggled to stay afloat. Brandon’s days in New York were numbered, but he didn’t know how truly blessed he was. Kansas City was on the horizon.
With his parents help, Brandon moved to Kansas City in early 2017, and immediately hit his stride. His woodwind skills, now including the English horn, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto flute, and piccolo, led him into his now extensive work in musical theater productions at local companies including the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the New Theatre & Restaurant, Musical Theater Heritage, and Just Off Broadway Theatre. Brandon has also branched out into writing commission works for local ensembles/artists including the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, and the Jim Lower Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to his new ventures, Brandon has continued his work as a jazz saxophonist, having played with local veterans such as Stan Kessler, Todd Strait, Roger Wilder, and in ensembles including the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Marcus Lewis Big Band, and Vine Street Rumble. Brandon looks forward to seeing where his passion for music takes him as he grows not only as a musician, but more importantly, as a person.
Brandon plays a number of horns made by Selmer, Yamaha, Sankyo, Pearl, F. Lorée, and Fox. His mouthpieces include products from Ted Klum, Meyer, Vandoren, and Beechler.
Selmer Super Balanced Action Tenor
Ted Klum Tonamax HR 7*
Vandoren ZZ, Strength #3
Vandoren Optimum Ligature
Soprano, Alto, and Baritone Saxophones
Piccolo, Flute, and Alto Flutes
Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Oboe, Engligh Horn, and Bassoon
EWI and Aerophone
This section of the site is dedicated to educational materials. It is my goal to continually expand this page and create an invaluable resource for the studying musician. All of these materials are totally free. If you get value out of these resources, please consider donating (bottom of page).
I owe a big thanks to Charles McNeal and David Valdez for providing such an amazing tools for all of us learning musicians. I used to spend hours everyday practicing from your transcriptions and I Iearned so much about the players I love. I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without your hard work and I hope that I can give back in some way by providing the same for others. Thank you to Charles, David, and to many others!
Below are the transcriptions I’ve completed out of my own interest and fascination. If you’d like something transcribed for you, i.e. solos, chords, arrangements, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to discuss details and pricing.
Transcriptions are in Concert, Bb, and Eb
A Shifting Design - Star of Jupiter (Bb, Eb)
Mr. Hope - Star of Jupiter (Bb, Eb)
East Coast Love Affair - Reflections (Bb, Eb )
Cherokee - Sonny Stitt with the New Yorkers (Bb, Eb)
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