Joe Wilson, beloved jazz musician and carpenter passed away peacefully at home February 6, 2023 creating an immense sadness in the hearts of all who knew him.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Santa Barbara, Joe was the son of Marge & Gerald Wilson. Joe was a skilled carpenter known for his hard work and dedication, but his passion in life was truly for music.
Joe’s musical journey began in the Portland Jazz world where he honed his sound and style with long days and nights of diligent work. Fueled by a love for the greats and evoking sounds such as Big Joe Williams and Sarah Vaughn. When he played harmonica, you knew you were hearing the real thing. He had a big, beautiful tone with no superfluous notes.
He honed his skills further in bands like “Strangers in the Night” and “Matt’s Cats”. As the lead singer of the R & B Bombers, Joe entertained many since the 80’s with his performances. His talent for writing, flare for drama and clever, soulful lyrics made his music memorable to his fans and community.
He leaves behind his son Ian of whom he was so proud, his daughter-in-law Erika, brother Thad, Aunt Charlotte, cousins: Tammy, Mary and Walter, nieces and nephews: Robert, Trina, Athena, Calib, Brianna, Dalton, Dax, Paige, Shawntee, Nathan, Kasha, Brier and Skylar who all meant the world to him.
Joe’s devoted partner Anne loved sharing her life with him. He will be deeply missed for his infectious smile and passion for playing music. Joe has left us, but his voice lives on through the recordings of his life’s work here in Santa Barbara.
The celebration of Joe will be held at the Wildcat in Santa Barbara on Saturday April 15, 2023 from 1:30-4:30pm with Joe’s friends providing music to honor his memory.