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Minnesota Regional Cultural Treasures Award Recipient

Funding made possible by a collaboration of the McKnight, Ford, Bush, and Jerome Foundations.

Top News

Twin Cities singer-composer PaviElle French hopes to ‘lift up’ young musicians

The singer-composer is reimagining the way Twin Cities arts organizations should collaborate with the next generation.

Walker West growing beyond music

St. Paul music school using capital campaign to strengthen community ties.

Walker West Music Academy outgrows Selby Ave. site

The Wilder building on Marshall offers several advantages, according to Haulcy… The new facility offers improved rehearsal spaces and a larger performance space. Plans call for greatly upgraded technology as well as better soundproofing.

$12.6 Million Initiative Offers New Funding for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American-Led Arts Organizations

The Regional Cultural Treasures program honors organizations that have made a significant impact on our cultural landscape over decades.

2024

Making digital music: Walker West and Ujamaa Place team up to teach

St. Paul community-based organizations seek to give young Black men more ways to succeed.

2023

WALKER|WEST IN THE NEWS TODAY

Walker West Music Academy expands with state-of-the-art facilities in Rondo Community. Page 7- Art and Culture

Walker West Music Academy to debut 4 Steinway concert pianos

Schmitt Music has donated $30,000 to Walker West toward leasing the four Model D Steinways in a rent-to-own arrangement.

Award Winning High School Jazz Band with Big Show at the Metronome in Saint Paul

They’re calling themselves the Will Aldrich quintet, with Will and Gabe Hartnett playing saxophones, Rafi Karpowitz on the piano, Callum Schultz on the bass, and drummer Ataa Mensah.

Walker West Music Academy closing in on $12 million relocation, expansion in St. Paul

Still making music together after over 35 years of professional partnership, Grant West, left, and the Rev. Carl Walker, center, co-founders of Walker West Music Academy, play a song on the piano on Thursday, June 8, 2023. “I’m so fortunate to have met this guy — we’ve been through thick and thin together,” Walker said about his friendship with West. “It’s been a joyous ride.”

Rep. Samakab Hussein statement on the launch of new Walker|West Music Academy Building

On Thursday, June 1, Representative Samakab Hussein attended the launch of the new Walker|West Music Academy building in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Rep. Hussein was the chief bill author to appropriate funds for renovation and state-of-the-art technology for their music programming.

St. Paul mayor, lawmakers tout big wins for Capital City — and a possible sales tax for roads

Elected officials from in and around St. Paul gathered Wednesday to celebrate a legislative session that delivered hundreds of millions of dollars for a wide range of local projects.

MAYOR CARTER AND LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION CELEBRATE HISTORIC INVESTMENT IN SAINT PAUL

2023 legislative session brings millions in funding to Saint Paul to support public safety, housing, community centers, and public infrastructure Session also authorizes the city to bring sales tax proposal to Saint Paul voters.

Catholic school students hit the recording booth

These seventh- and eighth-graders from the historic Rondo neighborhood might make it onto your playlist one day.

Case Study: Walker West Music Academy

Walker West Music Academy (Walker|West) is the oldest African American community music education school in the United States. It was started in 1988 by musicians Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West in the historic Rondo Neighborhood.

NBA Foundation’s latest round of grants supports 31 organizations

Let’s take a look at some of the 31organizations that received grants from the NBA Foundation in 2023.

2022

Twin Cities singer-composer PaviElle French hopes to ‘lift up’ young musicians

The singer-composer is reimagining the way Twin Cities arts organizations should collaborate with the next generation.

Walker West growing beyond music

St. Paul music school using capital campaign to strengthen community ties.

Walker West Music Academy outgrows Selby Ave. site

The Wilder building on Marshall offers several advantages, according to Haulcy… The new facility offers improved rehearsal spaces and a larger performance space. Plans call for greatly upgraded technology as well as better soundproofing.

RCMS- Replay: Malamanya

Like the Mississippi river’s constant flow to the Gulf, the trade winds bring healing to the Twin Cities of Minnesota through Caribbean culture.

RCMS- Replay: Jack Barrett

Need some music after the holiday weekend? Don’t miss Jack’s first appearance in this series. Unwind with music and leftovers with this virtual concert.

RCMS- Replay: Duncan & Robinson

Duncan & Robinson return to the series for the 3rd time. We can’t wait of the sounds of these incredible artists hit the airwaves again. This duo, along with background fro the WDP singers will perform gospel, jazz and R&B. As Mr. Duncan promised, “you’ll be inspired and you won’t walk out the same.”

RCMS- Replay: Jack Breen

Jack Breen has deep roots within the Walker|West community. A student of Walker|West since 2004, Jack started lessons with Felix James and has been a member of our Teaching and Performing faculty since 2019.

RCMS- Replay: Tower of Power Horns

Trumpeter Gerard Ahlgren is based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota. He currently holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from McNally Smith College of Music with emphasis on Jazz Studies.

RCMS- Replay: Kevin Washington and RA Spirit

Kevin Washington has been part of this series since it’s inception, with his group RA Spirit performing in the 2021 series as well. You won’t want to miss their return. Kevin is among the most versatile of jazz musicians-as adept at playing straight ahead tunes as he is incorporating Afro-Latin rhythms on hip-hop into his sets.

RCMS- Replay: Selby Avenue Brass Band feat. Thomasina Petrus

We’re glad to welcome again Selby Ave Brass Band ft. Thomasina Petrus back to the series for the second time. This group always bring something dynamic to the stage. Be sure to tell a friend about this upcoming set.

RCMS- Replay: Give Get Sistet

The Give Get Sistet is an expandable, improvisational chorus of Black women and non-binary artists based in the Twin Cities with ties around the world.

Walker West Music Academy: What music means

This month, Walker West Music Academy is featured as a part of Minnesota Philanthropy Partner’s Nonprofits to Know series.

Portrait of an artist as a young man

Music producer, musician and University of Minnesota student David Smith credits God, church and Instagram for his success.

RCMS- Replay: Burning Truth

The Burning Truth Project is a 90-minute performance weaving together songs and story with space to share and reflect on some of the many thoughts, lessons and feelings we have been holding as a community since the summer of 2020.

At Walker West Music Academy, music education is a tool for growth

MPR News host Angela Davis sits down with Braxton Haulcy to talk about music education, and the history and future of Walker West.

Ta-coumba T. Aiken wins a Guggenheim, recognizing decades of dynamic work

Aiken says the fellowship signifies a belief in his work, which allows him to continue to do his work in communities at large.

10 Current Black Minnesota Musicians You Need to Know

A year ago we compiled a guide to “30 Essential Black Minnesota Musicians” — a look back at the state’s all-time greats, and at least one of the world’s (Prince) — but we felt there was something missing: It left out many of the current Black musicians who are shaping and igniting the sounds coming out of the Twin Cities and beyond. So that’s our mission here.

Artist PaviElle French Launches Residency in St. Paul

American Composers Forum (ACF) is excited to announce “Liberation! Lifting up our Youth:” a multi-part residency led by artist and St. Paul native PaviElle French and six St. Paul-based arts organizations.

Friends, family of late musician hold concert to benefit the place he taught children, St. Paul’s Walker West Music Academy

Tom Zosel taught students several wind instruments, including trombone, at St. Paul’s Walker West Music Academy.

2021

$12.6 Million Initiative Offers New Funding for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American-Led Arts Organizations

The Regional Cultural Treasures program honors organizations that have made a significant impact on our cultural landscape over decades.

Bill Cottman, photographer, poet, radio host and mentor to Twin Cities artists, dies at 77

He began hosting KFAI’s “Mostly Jazz” in the mid-1990s.

Grants highlight work of Minnesota groups serving those with Alzheimer’s and dementia

The number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is on the rise in Minnesota.

RCMS- Replay: Malamanya

Like the Mississippi river’s constant flow to the Gulf, the trade winds bring healing to the Twin Cities of Minnesota through Caribbean culture.

RCMS- Replay: Tish Jones

Tish Jones is a poet, performer and educator. She has a passion for hip-hop, spoken word and youth development through the arts, being founder of TruArtSpeaks. Tish has performed at the Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, and the Cedar Cultural Center. Tish will be joined by top local musicians.

Music to my ears

RCMS- Replay: William E. Duncan & Robert Robinson

William E. Duncan is a musician, composer and Walker I West teaching artist. He has worked with some of the greatest gospel artists in the world and with top local jazz musicians such as James Grear, Ginger Commodore, and his beloved sister the late Debbie Duncan.

St. Paul music academy to expand its dementia-friendly chorus

The St. Paul music school announced $7 million fundraiser goThe Minnesota Board on Aging has awarded the Walker|West Music Academy in St. Paul more than $100,000 to expand its Amazing Grace Chorus, which engages people with dementia and works to get the word out about Alzheimer’s disease in the Black community.

Songs of the Soul, Interview with Lady J Griot

Jacquie Lady J Maddix has been broadcasting the blues for more than 30 years. She blends Blues, Soul, R&B, Funk and Jazz into a music alchemy that holds the listener spellbound. The roots of American blues music runs deeper than the slave trade of the 1600’s in America.

RCMS- Replay: LA Buckner Band

Arthur “LA” Buckner sets himself apart from other drummers and musicians with his ability to incorporate Latin, blues, pop, hip-hop, and R&B influences into whatever style of music he is playing.

Minnesota Board on Aging awards grants to support people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia

RCMS- Replay: Kevin Washington Quintet

Kevin is among the most versatile of jazz musicians – as adept at playing straight ahead tunes as he is incorporating Afro Latin rhythms and hip hop into his sets. Kevin is a Walker I West teaching artists and instructs our youth jazz ensembles.

RCMS- Replay: Selby Avenue Brass Band, featuring Thomasina Petrus

The Selby Avenue Brass Band brings a unique voice to the Twin Cities music scene with a mix of New Orleans jazz and other genres. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger, composer, and Walker | West teaching artist. The band features Twin Cities premier vocalist, Thomasina Petrus.

RCMS- Replay: PaviElle French

Pavielle French is an amazing interdisciplinary artist known for her powerhouse vocals and performing. She hails from the Rondo Community, honing her skills as a teenager at Penumbra Theater. Pavielle has received numerous accolades such as the Upper Midwest Emmy Award and Sage Award. She is also a former Walker I West Student.

Crisis responders: the state’s resourceful nonprofits, which navigated a year like no other

Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) and Walker West Music Academy, for example, both embraced their roles working at the intersection of art, performance, community, healing, and learned to find new ways to engage and support their served communities.

New leadership for the Weisman; Joshua Bell at Orchestra Hall

After a national search that began in early 2020 and was paused for almost a year when COVID struck, the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) at the University of Minnesota has a new director.

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival returns to Mears Park

Enjoy it live and in person — or virtually from home.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival returns to Mears Park in St. Paul on Sept. 17-18

The Dakota reopens, shiny and ready; Nachito Herrera to headline 20th annual Selby Avenue JazzFest

St. Paul’s Selby JazzFest gearing up for 20th year

Pianist Nachito Herrera celebrates 20 years in Minnesota at 20th annual Selby Avenue JazzFest

Schubert Club reveals Accordo, Mix concerts for 2021-22; Wes Anderson’s Kingdom at the Heights

Delfeayo Marsalis, Kenny Barron and Emmet Cohen set to headline Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Your guide to outdoor summer music in the cities

McKnight grant caps successful year for Walker-West Music Academy

Local arts organizations: ‘We are a worthy community investment’

REMEMBRANCE • REFLECTION • RESILIENCE

Join us for a performance about Black strength, history, and resilience featuring Twin Cities visual, spoken word, and musical artists.

Ten Minnesota arts groups serving communities of color to split $7M in funding

At least $500,000 each for “cultural treasures” linked to communities of color.

‘Jazz Fest Live’ draws thousands of viewers to music made in Minnesota

Groove was everything’ to Minnesota bluesman Big George Jackson, dead at 71

RCMS- Replay: Duncan & Friends: Tribute to Debbie Duncan

SPCO to resume livestreams; remembering Barbara Field

RCMS- Replay: Sarah M. Greer

RCMS- Replay: Selby Avenue Brass Band, featuring Thomasina Petrus

RCMS- Replay: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration featuring The Solomon Sessions

2020

‘Extraordinarily gifted’ Minneapolis jazz vocalist Debbie Duncan dies at 69

RCMS- Replay: Duncan & Robinson

This performance is a pretty special one. Not only does it conclude our 2020 virtual Rondo Community Music Series, but it is dedicated to beloved “First Lady of Song” here in the Twin Cities, Debbie Duncan, who has been battling some immense health challenges recently.

Taylor Mac to perform ‘Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!’ live; ‘A Christmas Carol’ radio play from Park Square Theatre

RCMS- Replay: Ashley DuBose

Ashley DuBose is probably most widely known for her hit single, “Intoxicated” and for her participation in Season 5 of NBC’s The Voice.

Striking a chord with the senior set: Walker-West is now offering private lessons for aspiring musicians 55 and older

‘Art in This Present Moment’ features right-now work by BIPOC artists; History Theatre presents Tim O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried’

RCMS- Replay: De’Sean Jones

Detroit saxophonist De’Sean Jones is a world renowned musician, well regarded for his powerhouse sound and unique approach to modern jazz and electronic music.

RCMS- Replay: Kevin Washington

One of the Twin Cities most versatile musicians, drummer Kevin Washington doesn’t stick to the jazz of the past. He takes the music to a new level, often incorporating other genres from Afro-Latin to hip hop and R&B beats.

RCMS- Replay: Roy Hargrove Tribute

An All-Star TC Tribute to Roy Hargrove Celebrating the Life of a Jazz Trumpet Marvel

RCMS- Replay: Babatunde Lea

A master percussionist, Babatunde Lea plays what he calls the traponga, which is made up of three congas, a cajete, ( or cowbell ), trap drums and upright cymbals. Lea’s music is often inspired by African and Caribbean rhythms even combined with the modern sound of other jazz musicians in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota elder leaders on the times we’re living in

RCMS- Replay: We Are King

Minneapolis-born and Los Angeles based twin sisters, Paris and Amber Strother gained commercial acclaim in 2016 with their debut album, We Are King.

Walker West Music Academy expands community connections, seeks to raise $ 7 million

Roderick Cox forms new ties to Minnesota; celebrating Marion McClinton’s life at Pillsbury Theatre

2019

How to Volunteer in the Twin Cities This Holiday Season

Twin Cities Jazz Venues

‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ is a visual playlist; ‘Curious Incident’ to open at Yellow Tree

Vocalist Ashley Dubose launches Rondo Community Music Series

Walker West Music Academy expands community connections, seeks to raise $ 7 million

What is Juneteenth? Some elders explain

MPR “All Things Considered” Juneteenth Interview

Minnesota Humanities Center names Kevin Lindsey new CEO

Tools to unlock the imagination

Braxton Haulcy named executive director at Walker West Music Academy

2018

Walker West Announces Second Season of 8 O’Clock Jump Jazz Series Twin Cities

‘Siah Armajani: Follow This Line’ to open at the Walker; SPCO’s season opener

Saturday’s Selby Avenue JazzFest starts with a traditional New Orleans procession

Racially charged Twitter war prompts Har Mar Superstar to start GoFundMe campaign

Tools to unlock the Get set for world-class jazz this weekend around St. Paul’s lovely Mears Park. And it’s free.

‘Right Here Showcase’ spotlights midcareer artists; ‘Speechless’ returns to the Lab

2018 Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Headliners Announced

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 2018

Ridiculously picky’ jazz vocalist Debbie Duncan really likes her new album

Melvin Carter’s cabinet choices didn’t always align with community panels’ picks

2017

Hoaxer Returns! Thanksgiving Weekend, November 24 in the Dunsmore Room

Hoaxer Returns to Vieux Carre’ on Friday, August 18

Pre-Fest: Cameron Kinghorn, Charanga Tropical, Jordan Anderson, Lee Engele

Solomon Parham Quintet with Eric Gravatt at the Black Dog

Twin Cities Bass Camp Winter Workshop Presents Three Concerts at Walker West, January 6-8 Twin Cities

2016

Announces Second Season of 8 O’Clock Jump Jazz Series

Kirk Whalum Headlines 15th Annual Selby Ave Jazz Festival, September 10

2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Three Days of Jazz Glory in St. Paul

Masters and Emerging Masters at Jazz Central

7 days of fun: GermanFest this weekend, Twin Cities Jazz Fest next week

Former Walker director Martin Friedman remembered at Sculpture Garden groundbreaking

Walker West’s 8 O’Clock Jump Series Features the Atlantis Quartet, April 15

The 2015 SouthernMinn Scene Summer Music Festival Preview

April Is Jazz Appreciation Month

St. Paul church offers blessings – and bankers

Eric Gravatt’s Source Code, Falls Five – Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, February 27

A royal homecoming for King, buzzing R&B trio with Minneapolis roots

2015

Park Square thinks big with ‘Color Purple’

7 jazz shows where you can get your groove on

7 days of fun: Holiday season arrives with Brian Setzer Orchestra

2014

Walker West taking its passion for music to new St. Paul digs

Walker West taking its passion for music to new St. Paul digs

Jazz in the Twin Cities: your fall guide

2007

Music lessons help ease the transition for ethnic Karen at St. Paul church