Archive for November, 2019

Tenor Player De’Sean Jones Performs Dec. 7

Detroit Tenor Player Performs a Free Concert Saturday, Dec. 7

Walker|West invites you to a free concert by Detroit tenor saxophonist De’Sean Jones Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. A reception, with complimentary food and beverages provided by the Twist Davis Group (Revival and In-Bloom restaurants), precedes the concert at 6 p.m.

The concert is the final of four free performances in the Rondo Community Music Series, made possible by the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts and the Rondo Community Land Trust More Jazz on Selby Initiative.

Tenor Saxophonist De'Sean Jones

Saturday, December 7
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.

About De’Sean Jones

De’Sean Jones is an artist who is on a path to becoming a part of Detroit’s great musical legacy. Mentored by the legendary jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and electronic music pioneer “Mad” Mike Banks of UR (Underground Resistance), De’Sean is well versed in the tradition of jazz as well as the experimental sounds of the future. Since graduating from the Detroit School of Fine and Performing Arts, De’Sean has gone on to tour the world, perform and record with notable names in Gospel: Karen Clark Sheard & Kierra “KiKi” Sheard; Jazz: Christian McBride; and HipHop: Rick Ross. In addition to performing alongside music Icon Stevie Wonder for New Years Eve 2011, De’Sean continues to assert his musical voice with his 2011 album release entitled “De’Sean Jones: Septet” and followed up 2013 release “The Knomadik Project” and 2015’s “Knomadik Reverence.”

Tenor Player De'Sean JonesDe’Sean is best known for having a colorfully rich tone coupled with a powerful sound that renders high energy musical experiences. Featured in De’Sean’s music is the essence of Jazz, Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop and Electronic Music. Having debuted at the 2008 Detroit International Jazz Festival, Jones continues to actively perform across the country with his band “De’Sean Jones & Knomadik”.

As a member of UR (Underground Resistance) since 2007, he performs globally with experimental electronic music groups “ÐIII” w/(DJ Mark Flash & Jon Dixon), Time Line w/(“Mad” Mike Banks & Jon Dixon) and “Galaxy2Galaxy”, which completed a world tour in 2011.

“His playing displays an expansive musicality. His rich powerful tone is emotionally and stylistically balanced.” — Detroit’s Dirty Dog Cafe

“Knomadik Reverence is a hybrid of jazz, techno, and elements of rock demands that listeners be open-minded.” — 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 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.

Insight News Features From R & B to Gospel

Insight News Features “From R&B to Gospel”

Check out the excellent article in Insight News about our upcoming free concert, From R&B to Gospel, with Robert Robinson, Debbie Duncan and William Duncan. There are still seats available. RSVP today. The article is reproduced below.

Robinson, Duncan & Duncan to perform free concert at Walker West

Walker West Music Academy (WWMA), 760 Selby Ave., St. Paul, will be transformed by a concert featuring Robinson and Duncan & Duncan – three of the most premiere living music legends in the Twin Cities area.

William Duncan, Debbie Duncan, and Robert Robinson will perform gospel, jazz and R&B songs with the background vocals of the WDP (William Duncan Project). This free concert takes place Saturday (Nov. 16) at 7:30 p.m. and is the third of four presentations of the Rondo Community Music Series presented by WWMA and Harlan Boss Foundation.

The purpose of the concert series is to highlight the work of teaching artists at WWMA, and the organization’s mission to create 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. Specifically, the concert series is a platform for teaching and performing artists to feature presentations of music rooted in the African-American cultural experience, provide provocative premiers of new music and provide distinct approaches.

The Robinson, Duncan & Duncan concert will be led by William Duncan, a teaching and performing artist that has taught youth and adults piano, organ, and vocals at WWMA since 2006 when he arrived in Minnesota. He teaches a range of genres including gospel, classical and jazz.

As music became a strong influence in his life from youth to adulthood, he encourages his students by asking them what music does for them and how does it speak to them.

“Music is just another form of communication. Make it sing,” said William Duncan. “Let it gravitate towards you. It has to be ingrained in you. Let it speak. Sing and speak what God has given you. I like to see where students come from creatively.”

William Duncan credits the founders of WWMA, The Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West, for creating a space where teaching and performing artists can thrive. Additionally, he credits them for students having learned and traversed the world performing with the skills they have acquired at the school.

“They are so inspirational and great motivators. I love them dearly,” William Duncan said. “(As a teaching and performing artist you walk in WWMA and) everyone is working on a project. There is music all the time. I am paid for playing. I am more inspired to do what I do.”

He strongly encourages prospective students to come to WWMA for instruction because, “it’s one of the best schools in the country. You don’t find too many schools that share the love. Not many still striving for community period. Students are going on to do great things. I pay homage to the founders. They have been a great inspiration to an abundance of people.”

William Duncan encourages the public to come to the Robinson, Duncan & Duncan concert, which includes his sister, a renowned talent in her own right.

“You will be inspired and you won’t walk out the same,” said the instructor and musician.

For more information on the Robinson, Duncan & Duncan concert contact WWMA at (651) 224-2929 or visit

7 Reasons to Support Walker West

Our Seven Reasons to Support Walker|West

Give Now to our Give to the Max Day Campaign

Support Walker|West today, and help us continue to provide programs like:

  1. The Rondo Community Music Series, a free series of concerts and community-building.


  1. Summer Music Camp, where students learn to play 4 instruments and sing in a choir in just 3 weeks!


  1. Summer Jazz Intensive, where students learned improvisation, music theory, jazz history, and playing together in an ensemble.



  1. Music for Families, a collaboration between Walker|West and Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®, this program is open to parents with children ages 0 to 4. Now Walker|West offers music programs for students from infants to senior citizens.


  1. Master Classes, including last month’s workshop with jazz great Terence Blanchard and a potential Februrary 2020 workshop with Iraqi-American composer/jazz trumpeter Amir ElSaffar.


Jazz Trumpeter Terence Blanchard

  1. Community involvement. Can music instruction help close the achievement gap between minority and white students in St. Paul? Walker|West instructors are working with Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School to find out. Walker|West co-founder Grant West will provide piano/keyboard instruction and internationally known percussionist Babatunde Lea will teach a percussion class to the young scholars at Obama Elementary, where 80 percent of students are persons of color. We’re also collaborating with St. Paul’s High School of the Recording Arts. Walker|West students will go to HSRA to learn digital recording and technology. HSRA students will come to Walker|West to learn instrumental music and basic music theory.


  1. Our Mission: 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.


Please Contribute Today!

Give Early to Give to the Max Day

Give Now to Walker|West’s Give to the Max Day Campaign

Give to the Max Day, Thursday, November 14, is less than two weeks away, but you can make your donation count now as part of the Early Giving period! Simply visit Walker|West’s Give to the Max day page and contribute any time between now and November 14!

Early Birds May Get a Golden Ticket

All gifts made during the Early Giving period are eligible for daily $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets, and a $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket drawn at midnight as soon as GTMD19 is over! These GTMD prizes are ways to make your contribution go further.

There are many ways to contribute to Walker|West, but Give to the Max Day makes it easy. Thank you for considering making a donation so we can continue to bring quality music instruction and events to our community.