As a child, Corey Wilkes was surrounded by the sounds of Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk and Jazz. He picked up the trumpet for the first time at the age of 10. Starting with the school band, Corey's natural talent immediately began to flourish. He dominated his peers in both group and solo competitions, always taking first place.
His confidence and maturity were well beyond his years. As a student at Rich South High School in Richton Park, Illinois, his hard work and dedication secured a spot in the Illinois All State Honors Jazz Combo; the first student in the school's history to do so.
Corey further honed his craft at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, he studied trumpet under Tiger Okoshi and Charlie Lewis Jr. Leaving college for more hands on experience, Corey held down a trumpet seat for Carnival Cruise Lines for a short stint. Then in an even further effort to absorb the very essence of Jazz, he traveled to its heart, Louisiana. He integrated himself in to the local scene by frequenting jam sessions and playing with several different bands in New Orleans.