Home » Jazz Musicians » Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Grammy award-winning drummer/percussionist Mark Walker was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began playing drumset at age ten and played his first professional club, concert and recording gigs barely out of high school. He gained valuable experience performing an extremely wide range of styles in the Chicago area and later became a first-call session drummer and percussionist, playing on hundreds of jingles and record dates.

Since moving to New York in 1995, he has performed and recorded with: Oregon, Paquito D'Rivera, Michel Camilo, Caribbean Jazz Project, Dave Samuels, Andy Narell, Lyle Mays, David Liebman, Cesar Camargo Mariano and many more.

He has appeared on major television shows such as: "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "PBS presents..." and "BET On Jazz."

He also appears on screen with Paquito D'Rivera in Fernando Trueba's Latin jazz documentary Calle 54 (Miramax).

In the Education field he was appointed Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston (2001) creating a new curriculum, serving on the Education committee and teaching drummers, percussionists and ensembles.

He has also served on the faculty at Drummers Collective in New York City. Mark has given master classes, clinics and workshops in South America, North America and Europe.

As an author he's written for the all-star instructional drum set book Killer Grooves published by Carl Fischer. He is currently working on a book for Berklee press tentatively titled World Jazz Drumming.

His solo projects include the sample/loop discs Chameleon Drums, Vol 1 & 2 (Sonic Emulations) and Ritmo De Las Americas (Sampleheads).

He has also composed and arranged for the group Oregon, the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet, Bob McGrath and David Onderdonk. His compositions can be heard on new releases by Oregon and Paquito D'Rivera Quintet.

He has won three Grammy Awards and earned several Grammy nominations for his work with various artists, including Oregon, Donato Poveda, Paquito D'Rivera and Caribbean Jazz Project.

He's won in 1996 the grand prize for Jazziz magazine's competition "Percussion On Fire." Mark has also earned the Indie award and the Jazz award (German record manufacturers) for his work with Oregon.

Mark Walker is a Yamaha, Paiste, Remo, Vic Firth and LP artist.


Grammy Nomination 2008 "Best Instrumental Composition" for his composition "Deep Six" recorded by Oregon Played on several Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award winning recordings by Paquito D'Rivera, such as "Portraits of Cuba", "Live at the Blue Note", "Tropicana Nights", "Funk Tango"and "Panamericana Suite." Played on the Grammy winning recording by Dave Samuel and the Caribbean Jazz Project, "Here and Now: Live in Concert" Played on many other Grammy nominated recordings. Please see http://www.markwalkerdrums.com/discography.html for more info.


Album Review
Read more articles
Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music (2001-present), available for private instruction


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Dice Que Vive (Signs...

Blue Canoe Records


The Next Stage

Big and Phat Jazz Productions



Next Level


2 Cents

Self Produced


You Get What You Give

Self Produced



From: Dice Que Vive (Signs Of Life)
By Mark Walker


From: Unsaid
By Mark Walker

Waltz for Moe

From: Panamericana Suite
By Mark Walker


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.