Highlights!

I have been fortunate to have a lot of great musical experiences lately. I’m always playing and recording with bands of different genres, but I am especially proud of one of my newest projects—Dead Dogs. The project is comprised of five talented musicians, all of whom are all seasoned veterans with diverse musical backgrounds. We just released our first album, which we wrote while we were still developing our sound. Every show is exciting as our influences and experiences grow. Please support this unique project. You can purchase our album at
DeadDogsTheBand.com.

Here is a recent Dead Dogs review:

The Dead Dogs self titled debut album; “Dead Dogs” does what most bands only hope and dream of doing: they hold true to their deep roots in rhythm & blues, jazz and Americana while capturing the energy and soul of their live performance by bringing the listener on a timeless journey into a refreshingly new, yet comfortingly familiar spiritual and musical world that is sure to make you feel right at home no matter where your from.

The catchy songwriting and honest lyrics, foot-stomping rhythm & walking bass, bone chilling harmonies & trumpet runs constantly hold this 5 piece band and every person in the crowd they play for moving tightly together making you feel as if you been here before a long time ago, and send you off with a bunch of sweet melodies in your head, that will keep you running back for more. Better pick up an extra copy for your friends and inmates; you are going to want to listen to this album again and again.

By offering raw, independent, non label influenced, quality, self produced, original music, The Dead Dogs do what blues music is meant to do: make feeling bad feel good! THE DEAD DOGS ARE LIVING PROOF THAT ROCK N’ ROLL IS NOT DEAD!!!!

Follow the Dead Dogs on FaceBook and Twitter. Also, catch us at the Volume One Magazines “Sounds Like Summer Concert Series” on August 25th.

You can also hear the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra (CVJO) at the same concert series on June 23rd. The CVJO has had an incredible concert series this year! The highlights started with our first concert “Sounds of the Valley,” featuring composers with ties to the Chippewa Valley, including Geoff Keezer, Dominic Spera, Fred Sturm, and Andrew Neesley just to name a few. In November, the CVJO had the distinct pleasure of playing with trumpeter, Wayne Bergeron. We played a piece from one of called “Maynard and Waynard” from his recent album entitled “Plays Well With Others.” You can catch the performance on my video page. Unfortunately, our Christmas concert was snowed out and has been rescheduled for next Christmas season. It is sure to be a highlight as the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra (CVSO) plays movements from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” and then the CVJO plays the Duke Ellington arrangements of the same movements!

We then finished our concert series with a history of the big bands concert in which I got to perform solo works from Harry James, Dizzy Gillespie, and Maynard Ferguson in the same concert. Support this local jazz orchestra and visit their website at Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra.

The mission of the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra is to promote jazz music education and appreciation throughout western Wisconsin by providing educational jazz experiences in a community big band setting.

In April I was fortunate to share the stage and perform at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival with saxophonist, Eric Marienthal, from the Big Phat Band and former teacher, mentor, and all around inspiring human being, Bobby Sanabria. Bobby has been a true inspiration to me as I develop as a musician. Go check out his website!

Bobby Sanabria – drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, filmmaker, conductor, educator, multi-cultural warrior and multiple Grammy nominee – has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Charles McPherson, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, Marco Rizo, Arturo Sandoval, Roswell Rudd, Chico O’Farrill, Candido, Yomo Toro, Francisco Aguabella, Larry Harlow, Henry Threadgill, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban Jazz, Mario Bauzá.

The International Trumpet Guild Conference (ITG) was in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past May. It was fabulous educational experience, and it was great to catch up with so many familiar trumpeters that I have studied and worked with in the past. As part of the conference, we put together a trumpet ensemble of over 150 trumpet players and preformed the National Anthem at a Minnesota Twins game.

Here is the video:

Earlier this spring, I also laid down some tracks for the new Jim Pullman album. Jim’s tunes and the collaboration of great musicians are fantastic. His album will be released at the Volume One’s “Sounds like Summer Music Series” on Thursday, August 18th.
I’m finishing up some studio tracks for the second full-length album of mid-western born, New York-based band Nees and Vos. I am also in the process of finishing a big band album for the Keith Karns Big Band out of Bloomington Indiana. Check out his videos and audio of the band at his website.

This summer I will be also recording some classic, solo trumpet with big band tunes for my own album. Selections include works from Conrad Gozzo, Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson & Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams to name a few! Talk soon everyone!

Updates

Finally, some updates! (It’s been busy. Whew!)

The Dead Dogs are just about done with the studio work of our first album, which is due out in April of this year. See my calendar for gig dates.

Here’s a recent article that appeared in Eau Claire’s local Arts and Culture publication, Volume One.

They’re nearly impossible to label. They’ve got a name that attracts regular flak. And if you hear them today, you can almost guarantee it’ll be different tomorrow. Such are the defining characteristics of Dead Dogs, a five-piece band with an evolving creative process and amoebic sound that make them among the most dynamic in the Valley.

I also had the distinct pleasure of playing with trumpeter Wayne Bergeron during a recent concert with the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra. We played a piece from one of his recent albums titled “Plays Well With Others”. The tune was called “Maynard and Waynard”. You can catch the performance on my video page.

Also, check out the upcoming Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra concert, “The History of The Big Band In Music!” This show will featuring the music of Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Thad Jones, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and tons more.

I also laid down some tracks for the new Jim Pullman album earlier this winter. Jim’s tunes and the collaboration of great musicians are fantastic. His album will be coming out this year!

So what’s next on the calendar? I’ll be finishing up some studio tracks for the second full-length album of the mid-western born, New York-based band Nees and Vos. More news soon!

Projects: Recent and MORE!

I have been apart of some wonderful projects this summer and early fall. I did some trumpet work for the band Meridene. Their sophomore full-length album, titled Something Like Blood, solidifies the Eau Claire, WI four-piece as a dual threat, embodying both lyrically focused themes of fear and doubt and a band realizing its full potential. The album is available from Amble Down Records. Read reviews and order the album there!

Another exciting project I was fortunate enough to be apart of was recording the debut album from the Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra. Several premiere musicians from the Twin Cities, Eau Claire, and New York assembled to record nine original pieces written by composer Aaron Hedenstrom. It is described as a symphonic jazz, hip-hop experience. Here is part of the history of the band and the music.

“The CD was recorded during one day of work; the musicians sight-read, rehearsed, and recorded these takes all in the window of about 6 hours. The end result is powerful, raw, and full of energy and spontaneity. Part of the concept of this album is the collaboration with hip-hop artist Agape, who wrote beautiful rhymes to flow on top of three selections. The whole process has been magical and fortunate.

The themes revolve around the process of learning how to live life as it happens– whether that is in the emotional, physical, or spiritual realm. The music comes from Hedenstrom’s innermost struggles, triumphs, and feelings– and he intends to use this music to share the human experience with others. The songs were also written to feature the musicians in the band, many of whom were either friends or teachers of Aaron earlier on. The AHO invites you to share in our passion for life and music by experiencing this music with us.

I have some more exciting events coming up that are worth checking out! One of the jazz groups I play lead trumpet in is the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra. This year’s concert series is full of some great shows. In October, the CVJO will feature music composed or arranged by artists right here in the Chippewa Valley as well as other parts of Wisconsin. In November, the CVJO will have our first guest artist—internationally renowned trumpeter WAYNE BERGERON! To finish out the year in December, you can see the CVJO and the Chippewa Valley Symphony TOGETHER as they play the Nutcracker Suite and Ellington’s Harlem Nutcracker on the SAME STAGE!

I will also be playing with the Saint Croix Jazz Orchestra again in October. This concert in the series is “The St. Croix Jazz Orchestra with the Valley Chamber Chorale: Jump, Jive and Wail!” Ticket info. You can listen to our concert with former Count Basie legendary drummer, Butch Miles HERE. This streaming audio is courtesy of the Twin Series Jazz Society and the Minneapolis radio station KBEM Jazz 88FM and their “Jazz From J to Z” program. Free sign up and login required to listen.

I am going into the studio to lay down the tracks to the second full-length album of the Mid-Western born, New York-based band Nees and Vos. More info soon!

As always, follow me on Twitter – @JeffreyWalk. By keeping up-to-date with my tweets, you’ll be reminded of upcoming shows and other experiences worth micro-blogging.

Summer Events!

The end to another successful school year of making great music, the sun is out longer which means summer is here! One of the best things about summer is all of the great outdoor music festivals. The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, presented by Volume 1 Magazine, is certainly no exception. My jazz group, The Walk/Klenz Jazz Sextet, has had a very busy summer schedule thus far, and we look forward to performing at this concert series on Thursday, July 1st.

Here is the gist of the concert series –

The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series is Volume One’s Thursday-night gig in downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park. Local bands play to crowds of approximately 1,000 people each night on the banks of the Chippewa River in June, July, and August. The show runs from about 6:30pm to 8:30pm, but new in 2010 is a “pre-show” set from area singer/songwriters at 6pm.

Some other projects that I’m involved with will be performing at the concert series:

August 5th – Myself and some other horn players will be joining Magic Mama. MAGIC MAMA performs ORGANIC HIP HOP and World Beats for the Whole Family. Through her music, MAGIC MAMA delivers an empowering and hope-filled message of love and respect for all and inspires creative thinking and Earth-friendly actions.

August 19th – Back with another exciting and truly original band – Dead Dogs.
See the previous posting for a video about the Dead Dogs, other local bands & venues, or go directly to it right here.

Then, to finish out the summer concert series, August 26th, the funk band I’m in Duncan Ninja will be laying down the grooves. Also exciting news from the land of ninjas who are funky, we will be in the studio in July working on our first EP. More news to come from DN.

“There is a new funk and R&B band on the scene packing a huge blow. Duncan Ninja is an amped up group consisting of a powerful five piece horn section that plays music of Earth, Wind & Fire, James Brown, Tower of Power, Marvin Gaye, etc. Come check out one of our shows, and be prepared to groove all night!”

You can also get more of the Walk/Klenz Jazz group at the Jazz at Noon Series. This series is at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire’s Central Campus Mall from 12-1pm. We play June 24-25 and July 1-2.

On the educational front, I’m co-leading a wonderful jazz camp for those students located in the Western Wisconsin area. The Chippewa Valley Jazz Camp runs from JULY 19-23, 2010 Eau Claire Wisconsin – 1:00 – 5:00pm

The Chippewa Valley Jazz Camp is designed to provide an inexpensive summer jazz experience for middle and high school band students. Students involved in the camp are from all over the Chippewa Valley and western Wisconsin. Our faculty consists of the finest educators in the area as well as nationally touring artists.

You can still register, but HURRY! Go visit the CVJC website for more details.

I have been in the studio a lot lately. As I mentioned, Duncan Ninja will be recording in July. I also was able to do some work on the new Meridene album that will be coming out soon, and I was fortunate enough to play lead trumpet on a phenomenal new big band project – The Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra. This recording consists of some absolutely killin’ players and compositions, and I can’t wait to let you know when it will be released! I will also be back in New York City this July to record on the next Nees & Vos album. Really looking forward to working with those guys again!

Again, events and shows are always being added so check back often. A great way to keep track is follow me on Twitter – @JeffreyWalk. By keeping up-to-date with my tweets, you’ll be reminded of upcoming shows and other worthwhile experiences that deserve micro-blogging.

Music at the State Theatre

Here is a seven minute documentary that features one of the bands I play in – Dead Dogs. It showcases music and art at The State Theatre in Eau Claire Wisconsin. Sponsored by The State Theatre, The Eau Claire Arts Center and Volume One Magazine.

STATE THEATER from Stephanie Lau on Vimeo.

Eau Claire Jazz Festival

This time of year has always been exciting for me and many of my students. The Eau Claire Jazz Festival is coming up again on April 15th-18th. Here is a recent promo video I did with some of my students about the festival. Check out their website www.eauclairejazz.com.

The Eau Claire Jazz Festival’s vision:

Promote appreciation and a continuation of Jazz music in perpetuity, in the Midwest, through the integration of the arts and by providing a world class festival to draw visitors to the Chippewa Valley.

Winter Blues?

The middle of winter is upon us, and chances are you are suffering from a little cabin fever. Well, I have some hot shows that will cheer you up. On Saturday, Feb. 20th, The Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra will be holding its premiere concert!

The CVJO seeks to provide educational jazz experiences in a community big band setting. Among the members are many of the finest jazz musicians in the Chippewa Valley, including full-time performers, music educators, and others with a passion for the art of the big band. This substantial collection of talent makes it possible for the band to tackle a wide variety musical styles and eras, and their concerts will reflect both the traditions that are the underpinnings of jazz and the works of more modern composers. The Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra makes a consistent effort to include works by regional composers and arrangers, including premiers of new works by local musicians.

Go to the Chippewa Valley Cultural Association website for ticket info.

After taking a 3 month break, Duncan Ninja funk band is back! We have a bunch of shows lined up this year. Check out our all ages show at the Grand Little Theatre on Feb. 27th!

Duncan Ninja, voted one of the “Best New Bands” in the Chippewa Valley, is a funk group comprised of two suave singers, five hot horns, and a ripe rhythm section. They play music by artists such as Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, KC & the Sunshine Band, and more. Several members of the group play in other bands around the area, including The Eau Claire Blues All-Stars, The Walk/Klenz Jazz Sextet, Meridene, and The Procrastinators.

Remember that the mobile version of JeffWalk.com is easily accessible from your touch-based smartphone or iPod Touch. Just type JeffWalk.com into your device’s web browser and the mobile format of JeffWalk.com will be at your fingertips! To view the site in its full, web-based format, simply scroll to the bottom the page and turn the mobile theme to “off.” You can also bookmark the site and add an icon right to your phone’s home screen!

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! By keeping up to date with my tweets, you’ll be reminded of upcoming shows and other worth while experiences that deserve micro-blogging.




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