Archive for October, 2019

Register for Session 2 Lessons Today!

It’s Time to Register for Session 2 Lessons

Young sax playerRegistration is open for Walker|West’s Session 2 music lessons. Whether you are a new or continuing student, please call 651-224-2929 or register online to reserve your preferred lesson time, day and instructor. Session 2 begins November 18 and ends February 8.

We’re looking forward to making music with you!



Update on Walker|West Alumnus DeCarlo Jackson

DeCarlo Jackson tours internationally with the band Hippo Campus, but when he’s back in town, he performs with the quartet Arlo. DeCarlo, who  started his musical journey as a student at Walker|West, was recently featured in the Local Current Blog.

We are proud of DeCarlos’s success as a person and as a professional musician and grateful that he took the time to come back to Walker|West last month to honor his roots. At the Ashley DuBose concert in September, he talked about how Walker|West helped him become not only a better musician but also a better human being.

Thanks, DeCarlo!


From R & B to Gospel Free Concert November 16

From R&B to Gospel:
Robert Robinson, Debbie Duncan, William Duncan  & WDP Voices

Walker|West Faculty led by Mr. Duncan

Saturday, November 16
6:00 p.m., Reception; 7:30 p.m., Concert
760 Selby Ave., St. Paul

Free and open to the public
If you plan to attend, please call 651-224-2929 or RSVP online. 

“Robert Robinson is a volcanic talent who absolutely knocks an audience on its heels.”

– Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Robert Robinson is reason to believe that the greatest music reaches every name and crosses every boundary, from audiences in the Pontiac Silverdome to troops in South Korea. Robert possesses the ability to sing any song and yet remain true to his vision.

Debbie Duncan, the Twin Cities’ “First Lady of Song,” is a stunning and versatile vocalist who captivates audiences and jazz musicians. Minneapolis’ Star Tribune reports, “She’s superb on funky upbeat workouts, tender ballads, and all kinds of jazz numbers; she energizes the ordinary and puts her stamp on just about everything she does.”

William Duncan, Motown City born, once Child Prodigy, Minister of Music, shares a fragment, but dynamic portion of his God-inspired beloved music with the Twin Cities.  Brother Duncan grew up with music. He’s taught and worked with some of the greatest gospel artists in the country. Some of these artists include the late Mattie-Moss-Clark and her daughters, The Clark Sisters, Byron Cage, Fred Hammond, J Moss, The Winans, the late Donald Vails, Thomas Whitfield, to name a few.

Walker|West piano instructor Jacob Dodd will perform during the reception.

This event is made possible by the Harlan Boss Foundation and Rondo Community Land Trust.  Food and beverages are provided by the Twist Davis Group (Revival & In-Bloom Restaurants).

Other Series Dates

7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 7
Featured Artist:

Desean Jones of Detroit Music Factory

About The Rondo Community & This Music Series

Beginning in the 1910s and 1920s, the Rondo Community experienced a social and cultural boom.  Music and theater flourished.  African-American churches, businesses, and schools set down roots, creating a strong community.  The construction of Interstate 94 between 1956 and 1968 cut the community in half, displacing over 700 residents, and fracturing Rondo’s identity as a cultural center.

With the support of the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts and the Rondo Land Trust: More Jazz on Selby initiative,  Walker|West presents this four-month series as a way to bring back the social and cultural boom of the old Rondo Community. This inaugural series is called the Rondo Community Music Series and focuses on bringing the community together through music.

Walker|West creates a music learning community rooted in the African-American cultural experience, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, explore and grow through music.

Terence Blanchard Ensemble Master Class

 Terence Blanchard Ensemble Master Class

Jazz Trumpeter Terence Blanchard

Friday, October 25, 2019
6:00 PM

Walker|West Performance Hall
760 Selby Ave.

Free and open to the public.

Grammy Award winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard will conduct a master class for Walker|West Youth Jazz Ensembles. The ensembles will perform and receive feedback from Mr. Blanchard. This event is sponsored by The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Please contact Tonya Gregory at or 651-789-1685 with any questions.

About Terence Blanchard

Terence Blanchard started his career in 1980 as a member of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He would later perform with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. An acclaimed composer of more than forty film scores, Mr. Blanchard won his first Academy award in 2019 for Best Original Score for Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman.

Since 2000, Blanchard has served as artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. In 2011 he was also named artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami. Mr. Blanchard was appointed visiting scholar in jazz composition in 2015 at the Berklee College of Music and in 2019, The Metropolitan Opera announced it would stage Blanchard’s opera Fire Shut up In My Bones, with a libretto by Charles Blow, for their 2021-2022 Season.