Bob Wilber (SHS 1945)

JAZZ CLARINETIST AND SAXOPHONIST

I first came across Bob Wilber’s name in some research I was doing on Scarsdale in World War II. As a teenager, Wilber and the rest of his Scarsdale High School
band, the Wildcats, visited hospitals in New York to entertain soldiers injured during the war. He was excellent even then, taking the train to Harlem so he could learn from jazz great Sidney Bechet. From those distant days in the 1940’s until today Wilber has fought the good fight to keep jazz alive.

He has performed with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Eddie Condon, and produced a number of albums, the best known of which are Bob Wilber And His Jazz Band (1950), Spreading Joy1957), Bob Wilber and his All-Star Band (1959) and The World’s Greatest Jazz Band (1969) He performed at the fifty year anniversary concert of Benny Goodman’s famous 1938 recording.

Even today from his home in England Wilber has a reputation as “a master interpreter of classic jazz reed styles.”