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Jim Wilson was born in the state of Oklahoma, of Choctaw and Irish descent, in the month of August 1946. His childhood years were mostly spent in the small towns of west Texas and southern Oklahoma. After graduating from high school in Richardson, Texas, he moved to Lame Deer, Montana to work with the Northern Cheyenne Tribal council in an endeavour designed to provide employment to the Cheyenne people. This was at the behest of his grandmother who was very active in Native American issues. During this time he had a great number of friendships and experiences with tribal elders and the medicine men of this area. This would, in later years, prove to be an invaluable source of inspiration for his contemporary Native American music. Following these five or six years, Wilson was married and had a son, and attended college in Billings, Montana and later post-graduate study at the University of Montana in Missoula.Read More...
In 1976 he moved to Vancouver, B.C. to pursue his musical interest. There he became one of the founding members of the Cement City Cowboys, a popular country and western swing group. Eventually Wilson created a new group Blue Northern, with Billy Cowsill of the Cowsills. This was a country rock group that recorded three albums for Polygram records and had five #1 singles in both the pop and country charts from 1982-1986, along with Juno nominations and CCMA awards. After a second marriage and the birth of his second son, Wilson retired from the "road life" of a touring band to concentrate on song writing and recording projects. During this time, he wrote a number of songs for the Grammy Award-winning Queen Ida and the Bon Temps band.
Work began in 1988 on a "New Native" project entitled "Shaman’s Dream of the Animal Spirits". Although this extended opera concept was never finished, many of the songs would later be released as single compositions ("Coyote Dance", Music for the Native Americans).
In 1992, Wilson decided to re-locate back to the United States where he was soon contacted by Robbie Robertson, who had heard some of the "Shaman" tracks while visiting with mutual friends in Vancouver.
Work began on both the soundtrack for a TBS six-hour documentary and the album "Music for the Native Americans". Both projects were completed by 1994, with the documentary series winning three Emmy awards and the album selling over a million copies worldwide.
In 1995 a new album was released through Triloka records under the name "Little Wolf Band", titled "Dream Song". This would be a highly acclaimed addition to the growing New Native genre.
Immediately following "Dream Song", work began on a "World Beat" album entitled "Transendence" under the name "Tulku". This project marked the beginning of many collaborations with Jai Uttal, Geoffrey Gordon, and Krishna Das. In the fall of the same year, Jai Uttal and Jim Wilson co-produced the first Krishna Das release "One Track Heart".
In 1996 Wilson and Gordon teamed up to write and produce an album with the Russian-born author Olga Kharitidi. Her book "Entering the Circle" was a highly acclaimed exploration into the mysterious realm of Siberian shamanism. In this recording, Kharitidi and Wilson created a musical journey that remains true to the trance experience of the Altai shamans.
Later in this year, Wilson was invited by David Silver of Mercury records to produce a posthumous album with pop icon Timothy Leary. With tracks from a 1967 Mercury release "Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out" and interviews from just before his death (a span of 30 years) came the creation of "Beyond Life". With contributions from Fiorella Terenzi, the Moody Blues, and Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, this album went on to become a cult classic. Also included on this album is a collaboration between Wilson and Allen Ginsberg entitled "A Tale of the Tribe".
The second Tulku album "Season of Souls" was written and produced for Triloka with guest artist Mamek Khadem, Mayan elder Don Allejendro,and Krishna Das.
In 1997 Wilson produced the album "Walela" with Rita Coolidge, Laura Satterfield, and Priscilla Coolidge. This album has proven to be a classic in the New Native genre, winning two NAMA awards. In the same vein, the second Little Wolf album entitled "Wolf Moon" was also completed along with a writing and production collaboration with Robbie Robertson for the "Contact from the Underworld of Redboy" album. The "Redboy" album received two grammy nominations and was featured on VH1 and PBS specials.
Teaming up with fellow Santa Fean, Consuelo Luz, Wilson produced the "Dezeo" cd which brings ancient sephardic prayers in ladino and traditional love songs into a contemporary world beat setting. The track "Los Bilbilicos" was featured on the Buddha Bar compilation by Claude Challe. In a tribute to world peace, Wilson then wrote and produced "Ecclesia" with fellow musician and author James Twyman ("Praying Peace"and "The Emissary of Light"). Based on peace prayers from many religious traditions of the world, this album creates an ambient trance dance excursion into the common hope of all peoples.
In February 2002, a new Tulku album, "A Universe to Come", was released through New Earth records .
At the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake Winter Games, Robbie Robertson, Walela and Jim Wilson gave a live performance of three songs for the worldwide telecast.
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