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Walker|West

Upcoming Events

Conversation and Q&A with Robert Glasper

“Jazz is the mother of hip hop.” Glasper     

Join us for an open conversation and Q&A with five time Grammy-Award Winning artist, Robert Glasper. Coupled with his breathtaking jazz piano canon, his genre-defying collaborations with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Garrett, Carly Simon, Erykah Badu, and Nora Jones, among others, have solidified his place as a musical luminary. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gain insights and inspiration from one of the most versatile and influential figures in contemporary music. Open to songwriters, poets, beat makers, and musicians of all instruments, genres, and ages.

For questions contact Student Services info@walkerwest.orglawrence@walkerwest.org, or jack@walkerwest.org

When: Sunday, December 17th from 4pm to 5pm
Where: 760 Selby Avenue

Sphinx Virtuosi Pre-concert W/ Kamoinge Strings

On Sunday, October 15, Kamoinge Strings performed their first concert of the season at the Ordway Music Center in downtown St. Paul. The premiere string ensemble of Walker West set the mood for the audience attending the Sphinx Virtuosi concert. Kamoinge Strings performed selections that ranged from classical to jazz and closed with a stirring arrangement of “We Shall Overcome.” The ensemble comprises 12 violinists ages 12 to 18 years from our string studios. In addition to Kamoige, these diverse and accomplished students participate in the highly competitive Minnesota Youth Symphonies, Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, and the Artaria Chamber Music School. The event was sponsored by the Schubert Club and entailed the ensemble sharing and in many cases, introducing their artistry to the Sphinx Virtuosi audience and personnel. Comprised of 18 accomplished Black and Latinx artists, Sphinx Virtuosi is an internationally acclaimed, dynamic, and inspiring professional self-conducted chamber orchestra that serves as the flagship performing entity of the Sphinx Organization – the leading social justice non-profit dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. The orchestra released its first album, SONGS FOR OUR TIMES this year, and was in the final leg of a national tour. Heading to Philadelphia and New York’s Carnegie Hall after Saint Paul, the orchestra made time to meet with our Kamoinge Strings students after their concert. Among those who had a chance to hear our students was Afa Dworkin, President and Artistic Director of Sphinx. She hoped students would consider participating in their programs, including Summer Performance Academy. In the past, Walker West string students have participated in this national program for gifted Black and Latinx string musicians, allowing them to spend time at such conservatories as the Curtis Institute, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Chicago College of Music at Roosevelt University. Nice start to the season!

With the opening of their new Planetarium Show, “Secrets of the Forrest.”, Kamoinge Strings inaugurated a new program that brings music to the Bell Museum – Minnesota’s official natural history museum and planetarium. Kamoinge Strings performed in two galleries as visitors wandered the museum. Over 600 guests visited the space on Sunday, November 12, for the opening weekend of the new show – a record number. And visitors stayed for the mini-concerts! Kamoinge played for approximately 45 minutes to a crowd of young and old and everything in between. The new show is cinematic mastery of Secrets from a Forest. This Bell Museum original planetarium production features members of the Minnesota Orchestra as it illuminates the creation of the Stradivarius violin. Beginning in the forests of Italy and concluding in a concert hall, this story illustrates the intimate connections between sound and nature throughout time and space. Kamoinge and Walker West obtained many new fans as Marie distributed Walker West swag and provided information about the ensemble and the academy to the many inquiries. Some folks hung around for both mini-concerts! We even got lots of hugs afterward from Bell Museum staff and visitors. The Bell Museum has offered a discounted rate for Walker West students and families as part of our partnership. See Student Services about this great promotion, and go see the Secrets of the Forrest before it ends in February! Playing among Minnesota’s mastodons and Castoroides (giant beavers) gives a whole new meaning to “playing to a big audience.”

Merging Music With Science | Kamoinge Strings At The Bell Museum

Masterclass: Steve Hirsh and the Sparks Quartet

We are excited to announce a special event that will enrich the musical journey of our talented students. On November 13th, Walker West will be hosting Steve Hirsh and the Sparks Quartet, featuring renowned musicians William Parker, Eri Yamamoto, Chad Fowler, and Steve Hirsh, for a captivating masterclass and concert.

When: November 13 | Masterclass at 4:00 PM, Concert at 7 PM

Who: Open to all musicians, feel free to bring your instrument

Where: 760 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN

For questions please contact jack@walkerwest.org or 651-224-2929.

About the Sparks Quartet

William Parker: Considered one of the most inventive bassists since Charles Mingus, William Parker brings his unparalleled expertise and creativity to the quartet.

Eri Yamamoto: Eri Yamamoto has established herself as one of jazz’s most original and compelling pianists, and her contributions to this quartet promise to be extraordinary.

Chad Fowler: Known not only as a respected software developer but also as a sought-after saxophonist, Chad Fowler brings a unique blend of talents to the Sparks Quartet.

Steve Hirsh: Steve Hirsh is known for creating a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and moods on the drums. His drumming will provide a dynamic and rhythmic foundation for this exceptional ensemble.

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