Two months ago, in the latest critics’ referendum of the prestigious American jazz magazine Downbeat, Immanuel Wilkins was voted Best Alto Saxophonist, Best Emerging Composer, and Best Emerging Jazz Group of 2023. An award that seals the young saxophonist’s meteoric career.
Immanuel Wilkins burst onto the music scene in 2020 with the release of his Blue Note recording debut, “Omega,” with his longtime quartet consisting of Micah Thomas, Daryl Johns and Kweku Sumbry. Although he was just 22 years old at the time of his release, his quartet had been playing together for more than four years, and their cohesion and musicality were reflected in both the maturity of Wilkins’ sound and the sophistication and depth of his compositions. Press accolades and awards soon followed, the record was named the best jazz record of 2020 by the New York Times, the best debut jazz album by NPR radio.