A Walker|West Timeline


Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West found Walker|West with a rented piano in the upstairs of a duplex.


  • Walker|West moves to 777 Selby.
  • Felix James becomes an instructor and launches the horn program.
  • The first jazz ensemble is formed and begins to play throughout the community.


  • First Summer Music Camp is held. Students sing in a choir and learn four instruments in just three weeks of morning classes.


  • Stringed instrument program introduced.


  • Grant West and his brother Tom perform at Prince’s wedding reception at Paisley Park.


  • The Walker|West jazz ensemble performs on the main stage at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. It is the only student ensemble to perform every year on the Festival ‘s Mears Park main stage.
  • Stringed instrument program re-established.


  • The Rondo Oratorio premieres. A collaboration between Walker|West and The American Composers Forum, the multi-movement work was written by Stephen Newby, of Seattle. It captures the spirit of the people who lived in St. Paul’s long-gone Rondo neighborhood.


  • Walker|West Jazz Ensemble performs at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival for the first time, winning several Outstanding Soloist awards.


  • Moved to the newly renovated facility at 760 Selby Ave.
  • Electronic music program launched.


  • Hosted the 8 O’clock Jump jazz series featuring local and national performers, including legendary bass player Ron Carter and New York-based alto saxophonist David Binney, among others.


  • Walker|West jazz ensemble placed first in a competition at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival over more than 100 competitors.
  • Walker|West strings students performed at the Ordway with the renowned hip hop duo Black Violin.


  • Dedicated the renovation of the building exterior featuring artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken dedicated.