Baristanet Profile: Wil Hylton

: Wil Hylton

Where do you live? The South End of Montclair, New Jersey

When did you move there? November of 2009

Where did you grow up? Brooklyn, New York. In Flatbush.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? The answer to both questions is music! I’m a trumpet player, just like my father was, and I’m lucky enough to make my living for over two decades as an instrumental music teacher to middle and high school students. So, I get to indulge in my passion all day, every day, and get paid for it. Being a teacher is such a gift.

Coffee, Tea, or … ? Coffee, light with 3 sugars.

What is your idea of a perfect weekend day? Brunch at State Street Diner, then playing baseball in the backyard with my boys. We aren’t going to make any traveling teams, but I treasure the time I get to relax with my kids. Then, a movie night out, or a game night in. Maybe a baseball or basketball game on TV and a cold beer. I commute, so a perfect weekend for me means staying home with family.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Cuban Pete’s Ricky Ricardo ribs are the truth! I love Star Tavern’s thin crust pizza, and Veggie Heaven is a family favorite.

What is on your nightstand? My wedding ring, which I only take off to sleep. My wallet, a picture of my wife and kids, and some career development books. Right now I’m reading Meeting Students Where They Live by Richard Curwin. Even after 20+ years in the classroom, I’m always looking for new ways to reach and inspire students.

What are you listening to? Ceora by Lee Morgan, Freudian by Daniel Ceasar, and Hymns by Corey Glover are always in my playlist. I highly recommend Black Thought from The Roots. He has a new solo LP out called Streams of Thought, Vol 2 that is incredible.

What are your current indulgences? Mangos from Costa Rica; I can’t get enough of them!

What talent would you most like to have? Growing up, I wanted to be a baseball player. Now, I’d love to be a comedian. I love laughing, and I think it would be fantastic to evoke that kind of happiness in others.

What is the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret in Montclair? The worst-kept secret is that Montclair is a big town with a small-town feel. People here know each other, take care of each other, and there are still plenty of people, places and yes, restaurants that you keep discovering, even after years of living here. It’s never predictable or boring.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? Will Hylton was a dedicated and loving son, husband, father and friend. HE worked hard and made a difference to his students, his hometown, and his profession.

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