Born in London, England, Clive Wilson was inspired to take up the trumpet after hearing the George Lewis New Orleans Jazz Band on tour. After completing his Physics degree at Newcastle University, he immigrated to the USA in 1964 and settled in New Orleans to listen to, and learn from, the jazz musicians he heard. Eventually he decided to make music, rather than physics, his career.
Clive was soon playing numerous parades and jazz funerals with many of the city's oldest brass bands: the Young Tuxedo, the Olympia and even the Eureka on occasion. He gained further experience during the Sixties by playing second trumpet on tour with Billie and DeDe Pierce (of Preservation Hall fame), and by recording for RCA Victor with alto saxophonist Capn. John Handy.|
In the early Seventies Clive studied at the Loyola School of Music by day while playing frequently with Freddie Kohlman's band on Bourbon Street at night. By 1973 he was a regular with Dave "Fat Man" Williams, also on Bourbon Street, followed by three years in Papa French's Original Tuxedo Jazz Band with whom he appeared at the Newport/New York Jazz Festival. In addition Clive has toured the USA with "Bob Greene's World of Jelly Roll Morton," toured Great Britain with clarinetist Herb Hall, played at several jazz festivals with Bob Wilber, and taken his own group which he founded in 1979-the Original Camellia Jazz Band-on tour to Europe many times.|
With the pianist Butch Thompson, whom he met in Preservation Hall over forty years ago, Clive has produced programs also for The New Orleans Serenaders, which revisits the classic repertoire of legendary New Orleans musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory. This band performs in New Orleans at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Satchmo Summerfest, and the French Quarter Festival, has toured in Great Britain, and played in Switzerland at New Orleans Jazz Ascona and the Davos and Celerina Jazz Festivals.
Clive plays the Monette AJNA II trumpet.
"This jazzman never ceases to amaze with his remarkable versatility. His bell-clear tone and simple but interesting phrasing make it all sound easy which, of course, is the mark of a real artist. He makes the difficult appear to be almost effortless." -The Second Line
"Clive Wilson's West End Blues has not sounded as brilliant since Louis Armstrong recorded his masterpiece over half a century ago." -Jazz Journal
" . . . a horn man who not only understands the Armstrong style, but also has the timing, control and technique to bring it off." -Footnote
"Clive has a tone to die for." Charlie Miller