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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

Ron Rieder: Latin Jazz Sessions

Read "Latin Jazz Sessions" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even while pursuing a long and successful career in the physical sciences, Bostonian Ron Rieder never abandoned his life-long love for jazz, especially the tantalizing melodies and lively rhythms of Latin America, composing music at every opportunity before returning to writing full-time and at long last recording his debut album, Latin Jazz Sessions It was worth the wait. Rieder's colorful tunes ensnare the ears from the outset and never let go, while his septet plays Latin jazz about ...

Album Review

Tim Ray Trio: Fire & Rain

Read "Fire & Rain" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Boston-based pianist Tim Ray and his rhythm mates, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Mark Walker, have been performing together since 2013, and Fire & Rain is their second recording as a trio. Their years working arm-in-arm and side-by-side have spawned a symbiotic relationship, and it shows. Even when the trio tests the free-jazz waters--as it does only once, on a seat-of-the-pants salute to Chick Corea, “Improv #1 (for Chick)"--everyone is on the same page and no one ...

Album Review

Tim Ray Trio: Fire & Rain

Read "Fire & Rain" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran educator and jazz pianist Tim Ray pays homage to some of his musical heroes with a piano trio album simply entitled Fire & Rain. It features various well-known standards from those who have been a major influence in his career, along with three original tunes added to the mix. Joining the pianist on this new adventure are familiar band mates, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Mark Walker, originally together for a Greg Abate concert and then for the Abate ...

Album Review

The New World Jazz Composers Octet: The Next Stage

Read "The Next Stage" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The jazz octet has long been somewhat of a “Swiss Army Knife" for composer-arrangers. Consider, for example, the great Dave Pell, Ornette Coleman, David Murray, and the J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Octets. In the hands of great arrangers, the eight-piece format allows arrangers to leverage the flexibility and creativity of a “Messengers" frontline with the total sonic impact of a classic big band. The Next Stage from The New World Jazz Composers Octet is a superb ...

Album Review

Nelson Riveros: The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery

Read "The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

After delving into the repertoire of legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery at a gig in the not-so-distant past, six-stringer Nelson Riveros was struck with the idea for this tribute project. Playing true to Montgomery's work and legacy, while pulling from his own Colombian roots and imbuing the music with varied elements drawn from the broader Latin lexicon, Riveros brands this album with a syncretic signature and a hefty helping of pure joy. Opening with “Road Song," Riveros retains ...

Album Review

Douglas Olsen: 2 Cents

Read "2 Cents" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What seems at first blush to be a nonet on this splendid new album is actually trumpeter Douglas Olsen's core quartet, amplified on various selections by talented guests who raise the number anywhere from a quintet to an octet. Even though Olsen has been a super-busy free-lancer on the New England jazz scene for more than two decades, 2 Cents is apparently his first recording date as leader of his own group; with that in mind, perhaps Olsen reasoned it ...

Album Review

Mark Walker: You Get What You Give

Read "You Get What You Give" reviewed by Ljubinko Zivkovic

Often, there is a tendency among jazz fans to simply pass by albums with drummers as the leaders of a CD release, as if they--the drummer/leaders--know less about jazz or music in general. As if examples of Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach or those excellent vocal albums by Grady Tate are not good enough examples. That this simply is not the case. The first 'solo' album by Grammy award-winning drummer Mark Walker, You Get What You Give, ...

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11th Annual Arlington Jazz Festival with Headliners Randy Brecker And Mark Walker's World Jazz Ensemble from April 7-10, 2022

11th Annual Arlington Jazz Festival with Headliners Randy Brecker And Mark Walker's World Jazz Ensemble from April 7-10, 2022

Source: Mary Curtin Productions

The Arlington Jazz Festival (Boston) has scheduled a wide variety of musical events over a 4-day stretch in several venues around the town. The Festival, now in its 11th year, is presented by Arlington Jazz. This year’s headlining concert, held at the Regent Theatre on the final day of the festival, showcases legendary multi-Grammy award winning jazz trumpeter/composer Randy Brecker performing with Grammy winning drummer/composer Mark Walker and his World Jazz Ensemble, which features French pianist Alain Mallet, Peruvian bassist ...

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


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



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Latin Jazz Sessions

Self Produced


Windows Through Time

Ancient-Future.com Records


Fire & Rain

Whaling City Sound


Dice Que Vive (Signs...

Blue Canoe Records


The Next Stage

Big and Phat Jazz Productions



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


From: Unsaid
By Mark Walker

Waltz for Moe

From: Panamericana Suite
By Mark Walker


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