Born in Washington, D.C., de Wilde moved to France before his fifth birthday. After studying philosophy at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, he returned to the United States to attend Long Island University. While there, he met and befriended pianist Joey Calderazzo.
Settling in New York, de Wilde was mentored by such influential pianists as Jim McNeely, Kirk Lightsey, and Mulgrew Miller. A member of Eddie Henderson's band in 1986, he recorded his debut solo album, Off the Boat, the following year. He followed with the impressive solo albums Odd and Blue in 1989 and Colors of Manhattan in 1990. Signing with Sony Jazz France in 1994, he released his fourth album, The Back Burner, in 1995.
De Wilde authored a biography of influential jazz pianist Thelonious Monk in 1996, which received a Charles DeLaunay Prize for Best Book on Jazz. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi