Todd R. Wilkinson, DMA
Associate Professor of Music
Todd Wilkinson is the Instructor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. He is a native of Kansas City, a devoted husband and father of three, and a free-lance musician/composer living in Overland Park, Kansas. For more than thirty years, Wilkinson has dedicated himself to the promotion and development of music and young musicians. He has a passion for all styles of saxophone performance and is a respected member of the Kansas City musical community.
Wilkinson discovered his love for music in the Kansas Unified School District 512, when he began playing saxophone in the fourth grade band (1969). He graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (1978), where he was inspired to a musical career by Lynn Harrington, Director of Bands, and Choir Director, Jim Ballard. Wilkinson’s college saxophone experience includes a Bachelor of Music from Arizona State University (1983), under the tutelage of Dr. Joseph Wytko, a Master of Arts from Stephen. F. Austin State University (1986), studying with Dr. John Goodall and Dr. Robert (Bob) Miller, two years of doctoral work at the University of Northern Colorado (1986-8) studying with Professor Roger Greenburg, and a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Kansas (2007) where he did extensive study with Professor Vincent Gnojek.
As a jazz performer, Wilkinson’s major teachers include pianists Dr. Tom Ferguson, Dr. Robert Washut, Dr. Robert Miller, and Professor Chuck Marohnic at Arizona State University. In Texas, he spent time with M. Eugene Hall, founder of the jazz program at the University of North Texas, and worked closely with Trumpeter/ Arranger, G. Darrell Holt. Later at the University of Northern Colorado he was associated with Professor Daniel Gailey, and I.A.J.E. Hall of Fame member, Dr. Gene Aitken.
Wilkinson’s past tenure includes: Board membership on the Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc., Artistic Director for the Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival, and Director of Jazz Studies and Instructor of Saxophone at Washburn University (2000-05). His earlier work in Kansas City included stints as the President of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors (1991-93), Board Member of the Kansas City Jazz Commission, and Owner/Operator of the Drum Room jazz club (1994-95). Wilkinson has also done freelance work for the International Association of Jazz Educators and the Grammy Awards. From 1994-2000 he was the bandleader of the award-winning Bokomaru, and is very proud of their CD entitled, Dreamland
Wilkinson’s publications include: The Kansas City Jazz and Blues Nightlife Survival Kit
-1992, Premier Quatour, Op. 53 Jean-Baptiste Singelee (1812-1875) an Analytical Overview of the First S.A.T.B. Saxophone Quartet
- 2004, William P. Latham’s Sisyphus 1971: An Analysis Using Common Tone
Networks – 2005, and Frank Trumbauer’s Saxophone Studies and Modern Solos for Saxophone: Compositions by the Hot Jazz Virtuoso and Their Place within the American Saxophone Tradition
- 2006. He is currently working on an outline of Practical Assessments for Young Musicians.
Wilkinson has conducted Honors Jazz Bands throughout the Midwest and has worked as a clinician/adjudicator in Washington State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Missouri. He has appeared as a sideman with scores of major performers, most notably Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Patti Page, Kevin Mahogany, the Kansas City Chiefs T.D. Pack Band, the Temptations, Diane Schurr, Karrin Allyson, Natalie Cole, and Wayne Newton.
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