Born: November 3, 1971 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Inspired by a series of jazz workshops with San Diego tenor sax legend Daniel Jackson (Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith, Art Farmer) in 1995, guitarist Chuck Walker has been performing and composing music for over a decade on California's west coast. Since cutting his teeth in the San Francisco jazz scene in the late 90's with the likes of alto saxophonist John Handy (Charles Mingus) and guitarist Mimi Fox, Walker has performed extensively in Los Angeles with Team Scrub, End of the World Ensemble, and Skyline Electric, and in San Diego with the Chuck Walker Trio, Jivechops Ensemble, and Random House Band.
Evolution of the Chuck Walker Trio:
CW3 I - Determined to assemble a versatile jazz guitar trio of high caliber in 2002, Walker recruited drummer Fenimore Johnson, a lively musician with funky sensibilities and nonchalant timing. Rounding out the rhythm section, Walker enlisted the bottom end talents of bassist Bryan Gambell, a noted composer and cross-genre artist.
CW3 II - In order to accommodate a more subtle, lyrical sound for more intimate events, a new trio emerged in 2004. Trumpeter extraordinaire Don Shaffer joined the trio format, sans drums, to perform a more laid-back West Coast style of cool jazz.
CW3 III - In 2009, master tenor saxophonist Andy Zahurak entered the scene, blowing thick melodic tones with a biting, driving East Coast intensity. With Fenimore Johnson on the drum kit, Zahurak’s tremendous tone and improvisational instincts compliment Walker’s steady handling of both bass line and guitar chords to produce an energy-packed straight ahead sound.
CW3 IV - Landing a regular Friday night gig in 2010 downstairs at Prohibition Speakeasy in the historic Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego opened the door for a heavier rhythm section to unfold: the ever-bouncing Joe Trujillo on upright bass and swingman Mark Cooper on drums. Exploring new levels of acid jazz at every performance, this fourth version of the Chuck Walker Trio builds the groove from the inside out, with driving rhythms and weaving melodies, thick with soul drenched improv.
CW3 V - 2011 began with master drummer and percussionist Tommy Ortiz taking up the drum position. With bassman Joe Trujillo maintaining solid descargas and Walker locking into 2nd line riffs, this new rhythm section generates an explosive funky sound with syncopated grooves and dancing melodies.
Focused on original material and traditional classics, the group continues to work with guest soloists such as trumpeter/keyboardist Anilh Rameshwar, vibraphonist Julio Coronado, tenor man Billy Allen, and vocalists Kasey Cookie Coe and the Rev. Richard Ross to develop and expand their sound in the studio and on stage.
The Chuck Walker Trio is committed to bringing the best improvisational music to the stage every time. Drawing from a rich repertoire of classic jazz standards and innovative original material, the group’s brilliant dedication to this American art form shines at every performance.