A saxophonist, composer, educator and producer based in New York and Paris, Warren Walker was raised in the rural Northern California gold rush town of Grass Valley. He became enamored with music at a young age, and by his early teens he was performing on jazz and blues gigs with his guitarist father, Thomas Walker. He credits his father (who died in 2003) with the Coltrane epiphany that turned him into a jazzhead. “He bought me ‘Giant Steps’ and I freaked out,” Walker recalls. “I listened to it on repeat days on end. I love and respect that music so much, though my playing ended up taking another direction.”
Walker earned a BM from the University of Nevada, Reno’s rigorous jazz program, where he studied with stellar musicians like Peter Epstein, David Ake, Hans Halt, Andy Heglund, and Larry Engstrom. “Everyone’s grounded in the jazz tradition and wants you to learn the roots, but mostly they want you to find your voice,” Walker says. “That’s where I started doing a lot of writing.” At the university, he also had the opportunity to share the stage with Joshua Redman, Dave Holland, Michael Brecker, Tim Warfield, Robin Eubanks, and Bob Berg. Walker also performed throughout the Reno/Tahoe area with an eclectic mix of area musicians and school ensembles.
After graduation, Walker lit out for Europe to pursue his career as a musician, declining a marketing job in San Francisco. One of only three musicians worldwide selected to perform at the Faenza International Saxophone Festival, he parlayed the prestigious gig into a three-week tour of central Italy. In February 2007, he settled in Paris, France and quickly forged ties with some of that city’s most adventurous players, including French/Ecuadorian bassist Gaël Petrina. In Paris, Walker formed the Warren Walker Trio (renamedThe Kandinsky Effect), and began performing and touring internationally with it and other projects, forging his reputation as a rising star in the European Jazz Scene. In 2012, he moved back to the US, living in Brooklyn where he began collaborating with the NYC scene. Walker maintains an international presence through various groupings with extensive international tour schedules; including The Kandinsky Effect, which tours North America and Europe.