James Dale Wilson
James Dale Wilson, Associate Professor of Music, Ethnomusicologist, Jazz Composer/Arranger
Associate Professor of Music
Joined Connecticut College: 2004
B.M., M.M, North Texas; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University
Guangdong ritual and ritual music
Southeast Chinese perspectives on migration and transnationalism
“Music, perhaps the most abstract form of human expression, spawns discourse that, by virtue of a certain distance from reality, can reveal deep sentiments that may be glossed over in other, more direct, forms of discourse.” - James Dale Wilson
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Dale Wilson has composed and arranged music for a variety of media, including string orchestra, big band, wind ensemble, jazz chorus, Chinese instrumental ensemble, and pop ensembles. His original compositions have been performed at New York City’s Merkin Hall, The Blue Note Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, The International Association of Jazz Educator's Annual Convention, The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) annual convention, as well as other venues in the United States and Europe. Orchestras performing his music include New York BMI Jazz Orchestra, Hamburg Radio Orchestra, United States Air Force Big Band, Mats Holmquist Big Bad Band (Stockholm), University of North Texas One O'clock Lab Band, University of Nevada at Las Vegas Wind Orchestra, University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble, as well as ensembles under his own direction. His music has been recorded on CBS/Sony, WEA (Asia), Capital (Hong Kong), and Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG) record labels.
Awards for his compositions include first prize in the Gil Evans Fellowship Competition, an international jazz composition competition sponsored by The International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE); the Herb Albert Jazz Endowment Fund and Meet the Composer; and a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Composition Fellowship.
As an ethnomusicologist, Wilson’s principal areas of research are: Guangdong ritual and ritual music; the interpenetration of opera and ritual; and Southeast Chinese perspectives on migration and transnationalism.
Research for his dissertation (“Baatyam: Music, Ritual, and Taishanese Transnationalism”) was conducted in rural villages of Taishan, in Guangdong Province, China as well as among Taishanese communities in the greater New York City area. Dissertation research was supported by fellowships from Fulbright-Hays, Mellon, and Columbia University’s Department of Music. He is currently writing a book on this subject.
Ethnomusicological publications include entries for Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture (2003) and "Fuzhou Flower Shops: Heat and Noise and the Fashioning of New Traditions" published in special edition of JEMS (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies), Sussex, 2004. Wilson is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Council on East Asian Studies, Yale University.
He teaches Music 108, World Music; Music 318, Seminar in Music History and Music 131, The Creative World of Music.
Visit the music department website.