Michael Wicks – who died last December at the age of 69 – had big ears… meaning that his love of music wasn’t confined to just one or two particular genres.
He was a principal bassist with numerous Local 518 symphony orchestras, over the years playing classical music with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Symphony, Glens Falls Symphony, the Schenectady Symphony, the Utica Symphony and the Catskill Symphony.
He was also well versed in musical theater and could often be heard anchoring the band for musical productions at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors in Schenectady.
But Wicks may be best remembered by local music fans as a jazzman, having played with numerous internationally acclaimed jazz giants – including Phil Woods, Chet Baker, Doc Cheatham, Bill Watrous, Zoot Sims and Nick Brignola – as well as local favorites such as Peg Delaney, Leo Russo and Lee Shaw.
And it’s his considerable contributions to the Local 518 jazz scene that will be celebrated at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 7pm on Thursday (October 29) at “A Jazz Tribute to Mike Wicks.” The evening will feature performances by Alone Together: The Mollin-Clay Jazz Duo and the Michael Wicks Tribute Band, led by his son Gary Wicks on bass. In addition, there will be a special listening party of never-before-heard Wicks’ music, as well as a jam session to wrap up the celebration of Wicks and his music.
Admission is free; donations to the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra are encouraged.