Mark Walker, a multiple Grammy winning drummer, composer and educator, began his career in Chicago in the late 1980’s. He became a first-call jingle session player and began touring regularly with the Lyle Mays Quartet and Paquito D’Rivera’s Havana/New York Ensemble in the early 1990’s.
He moved to New York in 1995 and immediately started touring with the Caribbean Jazz Project (featuring D’Rivera, Dave Samuels and Andy Narell). He soon got the gig with Michel Camilo, playing in his trio and recording projects produced by Camilo. He also began his long stint with seminal world-fusion group Oregon, featuring Ralph Towner. During this time, he also worked extensively with Eliane Elias, Linda Eder, the WDR Big Band, the NDR Big Band and Cesar Camargo Mariano, as well as local gigs with the best musicians in New York.
In 2001, he was appointed professor at Berklee, where he authored his instructional book, World Jazz Drumming (Hal Leonard), developed curriculum, and taught labs, ensembles and private students. He also authored the Berklee online course Afro-Cuban Drums. A member of the association of Latin Faculty at Berklee, he regularly teaches workshops in Latin America for Berklee Latino. He maintains his own lesson website, www.markwalkerlessons.com.
More recently, as a composer, he has had three of his compositions recorded by Oregon and one recorded by Paquito D’Rivera. One of the compositions recorded by Oregon, “Deep Six,” was nominated for a Grammy award in 2008 in the category of best instrumental composition. He has played on over 60 recordings, which have earned 6 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, as well as 8 Grammy nominations. He also has recorded original tracks for music licensing sites, and has sold music worldwide. He also has composed music for film. He currently operates his own studio, Coolidge Hill, where he composes, teaches and records on tracks for various composers and arrangers.
Mark Walker is a Paiste, Yamaha, Vic Firth, LP Percussion and Remo artist and clinican. He can be heard on new albums by Steve Khan, Lyle Mays, Paquito D’Rivera and Oregon.