RIP Abram Wilson (1973-2012)

Abram Wilson. Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton. All Rights Reserved
Absolutely tragic news. Trumpeter/ composer/ bandleader / educator/ actor/ good friend Abram Wilson died of cancer yesterday. He had gone on playing as long as he could, despite acute pain until his last gig in Teignmouth, Devon on May 24th. Abram studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and at Eastman College. His contribution to the London scene was immense. Memories flood back, but I treasure those of a concert for primary school children in the Barbican Theatre when he had bad flu, but you would never have known.   Abram was one of the good guys, and his loss will be deeply felt. Sympathies to his family, and particularly to Jennie (nee Cashman). They were married on Friday. In very deep sadness.

Announcement on www.abramwilson.com / Update 23rd June re funeral and Memorial Service

Guardian Obituary../.. Telegraph Obituary Louise Jury’s news piece in the Evening Standard

Tributes on Elements of JazzSeriousDune

Categories: miscellaneous

39 replies »

  1. A great trumpeter. Swinging his ass off. I was luky enough to sit in a few sections with him. Very driven individual with lots to say. You will be missed Abe.

  2. Unbelievably sad news. I never met him but was following his career and recently heard a radio interview he did which was so inspiring and positive – clearly he was already a fantastic role model for lots of kids too. Deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  3. I'm absolutely flabbergasted, didn't have a clue…what a loss, to his family, jazz and us, his public…

    he was a star, great presence, lovely singing voice, warm vibes…an excellent trumpeter and altogether a charming, thoughtful, modest and strikingly intelligent person it was always a pleasure to deal with….his presence on the scene energised his british contemporaries like soweto, and helped raise that jazz/rap context to a new level…..

  4. This is truly sad to learn of. This hurts my heart. I remember when he came to take NY by storm in the early '90's. We made a few gigs together then typical of NY, I never saw him again but would hear his name pop up in conversation over the years. This is tragic.

  5. I first met Abram on a gig a few weeks after he arrived in London, and had the pleasure of recording with him, touring extensively with him in Denys Baptiste's band, and was thrilled to have been invited to play with him at Ronnie Scott's only a few weeks ago. Abram will be so dearly missed by so many people, for both his passion and drive for the music he loved, his tenacity in bringing to reality his dreams, for his vivacious personality, and big heart.
    Rest in Peace, Abram

  6. cant take it in- R.I.P Abram Wilson (trumpet), a true musical giant..we were so lucky he chose to base himself here and share his music with us. (Ray Butcher)

  7. Abram – missing you here in Ashburton right now. It's been my privilege to play with Abram's band this afternoon and last night. Just about to go break to news to the audience for the concert that was planned for tonight. So sad. May your spirit live on.

  8. I am deeply shocked and saddened. I saw Abram and Jennie at Jazzahead and things seemed to be going so well for both of them. Abram was a lovley man with a big personality. He will be sorely missed. Christine Allen

  9. A perfect gentleman,a smile to warm hearts and he played music with a passion that gives the audience an experience never to be forgotten.

    We had the pleasure of meeting him a many occasions.

    Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

    Eric and Heather

  10. I had only known and Abram for a few months and worked on the press and promotion for his tour. He was one of the most honest and decent people I have worked with. Devastated it was for such a brief time.
    Andy Wilson

  11. Shocked by this news, we saw him perform at the Southport jazz festival a few weeks ago…deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, RIP

  12. I met Abram 10 years ago when I was first starting out as a photographer. He allowed me to follow him around to all his gigs and photo him in exchange for a lift home after. He was a one of them rare gentlemen. The world has lost something so special.

  13. such sad news and someone with so much more to offer…we first saw Abram at the Knitting Factory in New York…we met hium again as a mentor to our daughter at Dune…such a kind man especially to young people and ensuring the greatest participation in jazz….our thoughts are wth his family at this sad time… Sandra and Ian Fryer

  14. I'm so glad I got to know Abram during his much too short time on this planet. I interviewed him for the magazine I edit a couple of years ago, during an incredible improvising workshop he did in a school in Hove. His history of jazz/blues workshops were amazing. And he was on such good form when we met just a couple of months back. A great guy who changed the lives of so many young people through his education work. We'll always be grateful, Abram.

  15. So young! that's not fair.
    Rest in peace my brother from the Congo.
    Your brother from the Congo.

  16. Abram contributed so much in his short time, as a musician, composer, communicator and a fine man. It is a tragic loss for Jennie and all of us. We have a great many inspiring memories to celebrate, along with our sadness at what was to come. I was honoured to know you, Abram.

  17. Currently mixing with Soweto Kinch and neither of us can quite get to grips with the idea that Abram has gone so suddenly. There have been memories recalled of his quips and he would have played the hell out of the song we just mixed. Remembering silly things like him leaving his trumpet in the middle of the car park at Mark Angelo's studio and his habit of calling me The Joker because of the way my mouth curls up at the side when we laughed together.

    There is a big empty space in the world right now that will take a lot of filling.


    Missing you already!

  18. What a tragic loss, still can't believe it. You will be missed my friend, RIP Abram Wilson

  19. Very sad. A charismatic guy and a real nice man. I saw him a couple of times, I remember him at one of the Royal Festival Hall foyer gigs. Fine trumpeter and pretty good singer.

  20. Message flagged Monday, June 11, 2012 6:36 PM
    Abram Wilson! Composer,musician, educator, humanitarian,etc. What a GIANT! My cousin, my friend, my brother. I will always Love you. RIP Jazz Warrior.
    The pain in my heart is excruciating! Being tortured to death couldn't possibly hurt so much! I know for certain that I am not alone in my suffering. All who knew Abram are hurting. God will see us through. He always does! Peace and love to all! I'd like to thank all of you for being a part of Abram's wonderful journey. Ps.I am Abram's first cousin from New Orleans.If anyone has any additional experiences or photos of Abram you'd like to share,please email me at wanu521@yahoo.com.
    Submitted by Wayne Ali Nuriddn

  21. Once in a while you hear news that makes the world just stand still…that is how we have been feeling since hearing that Abram has suddenly gone. What a great man and musician, so honoured to have met him and heard him play a number of times, always with that great smile. We already miss the great future he was lined up to have, and cherish the memories and the music. Fiona McRae

  22. Very sad news. An incredible musician. A few weeks ago I took my 1 year old son to his family show at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. His performance was full of such energy and enthusiasm and I believe will have inspired so many young people to develop a love of jazz. A great loss to the world.

  23. I only just found out about 30 minutes ago as I happened to open up the Jazz Services site. I'm absolutely stunned and deeply saddened. I hadn't seen or spoken to Abram for a few years but this puts everything in perspective.

    All of us have been brought into each others lives through our love for this wonderful music and regardless of all our differences we are in this life together. This really strikes home hard how there truly no time for pettiness and minor grievances. Life is fleeting.

    Abram left his mark through his soulful playing and the enthusiasm he shared with all who met him.

    rest in peace my friend x

  24. What very sad news.

    I made a list on twitter of great musicians and he was the only one on it! I wish I had of had the chance to work with him, he was brilliant!

    My heart and deepest sympathy goes out to his family and close friends.xx

  25. I am deeply saddened by this news. I first met Abram around ten years ago on a gig with Gary Crosby and I was immediately impressed with the warmth of his sound. Singer Eliana Tomkins was about to record an album, Sweet Jazz, and we managed to get him to come to the studio and play beautifully on some tracks. He was incredibly modest about his massive talent and a true gentleman of jazz. He will be sorely missed….

  26. This is such sad news and a terrible shock to boot. I can’t recall where I came across his first CD, but I loved its mix of jazz and soul. I first saw Abram in person at The Phoenix in Exeter. Having heard loads of top notch trumpeters of international repute, to my ears he was the best of the lot (better than Wynton – sorry Mr Marsalis) with a fantastic sound, wonderful fluency and a lovely personality that warmed the audience. Music of all kinds has lost one of the very best.

  27. I am so humbled by all of the comments. He was my first cousin. My mother and his father are siblings. He was here in New Orleans in February. We all enjoyed him so much!

  28. my first memory of Abram was seeing him play in centenary square with Soweto in Birmingham and he blew me away with his playing and singing and stage presence! We all went for a curry after and on the way i remember his reaction when i told him there were words to the tune Moanin'. He immediately made me teach him the whole thing. I was a lot younger and less experienced in music but at that moment he made me feel like i was the teacher and really giving him something important and was so humble and genuinely enthusiastic to learn something new. This is actually a very rare character trait in so many of the emerging (and established) players on the scene in London. I think the true greats all had that vibe. Respect xsimon

  29. Digby Fairweather writes via email:

    “”I only had the opportunity of sharing one stage with Abram at an MU convention, but not only was e a marvellous player but infused the whole room with the 'very good spirit' of communication that Louis Armstrong spoke of. He really is a great loss to our community and – with hundreds of other players I'm sure – I'd wish to send my deepest sympathies to his family and friends”

    Digby F.”

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