Award-winning pianist, composer and arranger
Walter Gorra is an award-winning pianist, composer and arranger based out of the New York/New Jersey
metro area. Walter is originally from Colorado, but recently moved to New Jersey in order to pursue his
Master’s degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging at William Paterson University. Currently 25 years old,
Walter graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2017 with the following three degrees
– MS Structural engineering, BM Jazz Piano and BS Civil Engineering.
In 2016, Walter led his Colorado quartet in a two-month residency at the Denver jazz club – Nocturne Jazz
and Supper Club; performing his original music and arrangements. After completing this residency, he and
his group, the Walter Gorra Quartet, dove into the studio to record Walter’s debut album “In Due Time”
which is set for release August 1, 2018. In February of 2015, Walter received a grant from the Boettcher
Foundation to present and play with NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera in a master class and concert. The
group, "The Walter Gorra Septet" played with Paquito D'Rivera at the KUVO radio studios in Denver, at the
University of Colorado Boulder during a masterclass, and at the Mount Vernon Country Club in Denver.
Walter has also performed and collaborated with Ingrid Jensen, Pete McGuinness, Dave Douglas, Calixto
Oviedo, Josh Quinlan, and many others. Walter has performed with various ensembles at Dizzy’s Club Coca-
Cola-Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, the
Telluride Jazz Festival with the Telluride All-Stars and at the Five Points Festival in Denver with his quartet.
Performances have been given throughout New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Puerto Rico and Mexico, with
one of his compositions “Jazongo” earning the 2014 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Award, a
2018 Downbeat Student Music Awards Graduate Winner for his original composition "Bandwidth" and a
nomination for "Best Jazz Instrumental Album" for his debut album "In Due Time" from the 17th Annual
Independent Music Awards (IMAs).
A 2011 Boettcher Scholar, he owes special thanks to the Boettcher Foundation. The Boettcher Foundation
has a long history of contributions to Colorado and today continues to invest in the state's "minds and
mortar" through its Scholarship Program for Colorado high school seniors. Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) and
the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA) have also been instrumental throughout his development
– musically and personally.