Joe Wilder, 92, a trumpeter who toured with some of the biggest names in jazz, helped integrate Broadway pit orchestras, and enjoyed a late-career renaissance as a rediscovered master, died Friday at a rehabilitation facility in New York.
He had congestive heart failure, said a daughter, Elin Wilder-Melcher.
Although Mr. Wilder performed with such jazz giants as Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie, he seemed to spend much of his career standing just outside the spotlight.
He performed classical music, was among the first African Americans to play in Broadway pit orchestras, and was a member of ABC's musical staff for 17 years, including a long stint in the house band for Dick Cavett's late-night talk show.
In later years, Mr. Wilder often performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the Statesmen of Jazz, a touring group of veteran musicians. He debuted as a bandleader at New York's venerable Village Vanguard jazz club when he was 83. He continued to perform until 2012.
- Washington Post