Welker, the only child of parents who were both working jazz musicians in New York and Boston, first picked up the trumpet at the age of nine. He credits his mother as being the major influence on his life and music career. She really inspired me, Welker said. Born blind, she sang on the coast-to-coast Camel Caravan show with Al Pearce and His Gang from 1935 to 1939.” After studying at Berklee College of Music, Welker moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He led a sextet which was the house band at the famed Jazz Workshop in North Beach from 1961 to 1965 and featured piano player George Duke.
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