Rhan Wilson is a Santa Cruz, CA based musician, teacher, writer, and creator.
His creations include, of course, music: recordings, videos, performances; but also include sculpture, photography, woodworking, and landscape design.
Rhan Wilson began performing with "The Paisley Pudding", a "power-rock" trio, when he was 10. Fifty years later he continues to create, perform, and explore the way we hear and interpret music. His most recent group, "Jazz The Dog", continued along the imaginative musical path with fellow musicians Rick Zeek, Patti Maxine, and Michael Westendorp - together seducing and entertaining fans with their unique arrangements, casual interplay, and improvisational style.
Rhan's "Altared" shows: An Altared Christmas, An Altared Valentine's Day, and An Altared 420 which often sold out in advance, provided him an opportunity to work with some truly fine musicians such as Jerry Martini (Sly and the Family Stone, Woodstock, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Joe Craven (Jerry Garcia, David Grisman), Dale Ockerman and Richard Bryant (both of the Doobie Brothers and The White Album Ensemble), Grammy winner Barry Phillips, and Grammy Nominee Tammi Brown. His work with Tammi Brown has also included opening for Dr. Maya Angelou at the Santa Cruz Civic as well as at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theater.
Rhan has been active in teaching music, with a focus on rhythm and basics, to the many beginning ukulele players in town - encouraging their confidence and assisting in performance techniques. Click here to read more about his teaching and teaching style.
He has recorded and produced several CDs; three of his own, as well as with "pray-formance" artist THOTH, Rick Zeek, singer-songwriter Celina Gutierrez, and June Coha. Click here for a list of recording credits.
Rhan was one of six Santa Cruz artists to receive the 2012 Gail Rich Award.
Regarding the award, Santa Cruz Sentinel writer Wallace Baine wrote this:
Santa Cruz musician Rhan Wilson has talent, experience and creativity to spare. But what elevates him to the mantle of a special artist is a genuine artistic vision. That vision began more than a decade ago when Rhan conceived of "An Altared Christmas," in which he reworked well-known Christmas songs, playing them in a minor key. That minor alteration inspired Rhan to create an entirely new aesthetic tradition done up in blue and black instead of red and green. Every December, Rhan and his merry band of collaborators bring alive that aesthetic on stage in a concert that, he says, is not meant to parody or replace traditional holiday celebrations, but, in fact, to enhance them and give them new meaning, particularly to people whom a commercially oriented Christmas has failed to inspire. Rhan has expanded his "Altared" brand to include Valentine's Day and "4/20," but ultimately his goal is to revive and unleash the lost magic of Christmas.