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BM, Arkansas Tech University
Our “first-call” jazz bassist for the Rocky Mountain region, Ken Walker has played with a veritable Who’s Who of jazz artists including: Eddie Harris, Joe Pass, Marlena Shaw, Kenny Barron, Eric Alexander, Houston Person, Pharaoh Sanders, Phil Woods, Hal Galper, Jimmy Heath,Tom Harrell, John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker, Nat Adderley, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Herb Ellis, Freddie Hubbard, Henry Butler, Warren Vache, Larry Coryell, Lew Soloff, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Peter Erskine, Ed Soph, Butch Miles, Art Lande, Barry Harris, Billy Hart, Bob Berg, Eddie Daniels, Benny Golson, Ravi Coltrane, Emily Remler, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Shew, Charles McPherson, Roseanna Vitro, Sheila Jordan, Mose Allison, Fred Wesley and Bob Dorough.
He has toured in Canada, Italy and Australia and also performed at the Telluride, Jazz Aspen Snowmass and other festivals and venues throughout the US. Terra Firma, his recording debut as a leader, stayed on the Jazz Week Radio charts for 17 weeks, reaching #13, and finished #56 on the top 100 Jazz CD releases for 2005. Walker’s discography includes, Phil Woods and Carl Saunders Play Henry Mancini, Two releases on Capri with Curtis Fuller. I Will Tell Her and Down Home, which was the #1 Cd on Jazz Week Radio charts for 4 weeks, and finish at #5 for year 2012.
Walker moved to Denver in late 1985 and in 1987 began a 12-year tenure as the house bassist at Denver's legendary jazz club El Chapultepec that ended in 1998. Ken has been on the faculty of the Lamont School of Music since 1991, where he teaches jazz bass to all jazz and commercial bass majors, and coaches the Modal, Standards and Latin Combos in addition to his studio. Ken is also the bassist for the DU Jazz Faculty Combo.
Rocky Mountain News Spotlight, Top of the Rockies Edition, 2006: TOP JAZZ GROUP: Ken Walker Sextet Why it’s tops: “While the sextet led by the superb bassist Walker has strong individual voices, it exhibits a musical coherence that comes when players listen to each other. Though it’s an area-based band, this sextet can more than hold its own with groups that have greater national recognition. With its feet firmly planted in the soil of post- bop sounds, this band can soar.”