Mike Walker (jazz guitarist)

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Mike Walker
Born (1962-07-10) July 10, 1962 (age 56)
Salford, Lancashire, England
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1981–present
Associated acts George Russell, Peter Erskine, Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, John Taylor, Tal Farlow, Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell
Website www.mike-walker.co.uk

Mike Walker (born 12 July 1962) is a British jazz guitarist.


Walker was influenced by his father's piano playing, his mother's singing, and his brother's guitar playing. He went on to discover a passion for jazz guitarists Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Larry Coryell, and Tal Farlow.

He joined the jazz fusion band River People with Paul Allen, Tim Franks, and Paul Kilvington in Manchester. In the 1980s, he became a member of a quartet led by vibraphonist Alan Butler and worked with Michael Gibbs and Kenny Wheeler. He worked with Nikki and Richard Iles, then the Sylvan Richardson band, where he met saxophonist Iain Dixon. While in Zurich with the Kenny Wheeler big band, he met Julian Arguelles and joined his quartet.

In the 1990s he toured in bands led by saxophonist Tommy Smith. He has worked as George Russell's guitarist, recording with him on several occasions, and with the Creative Jazz Orchestra, Arild Andersen, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Jacqui Dankworth, Tal Farlow, Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, Vince Mendoza, Bob Moses, Palle Mikkelborg, Mica Paris, John Taylor, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Norma Winstone.

In May 2008, Wallker released his debut album Madhouse and the Whole Thing There.[1][2] It features the members of Brazil Nuts, plus strings and brass sections, piano, vocals, and French horn. Walker was commissioned to write a some music for Manchester Jazz Festival.[3] He wrote a suite called "Ropes" that was performed by a 22-piece orchestra, a jazz quintet, and Adam Nussbaum on drums at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.[4]

Walker's sextet includes Les Chisnall, Iain Dixon, Malcolm Edmonstone, Pat Illingworth, and Steve Watts. He is a member of The Printmakers, a band organized by Nikki Iles and Norma Winstone with Mark Lockheart, Steve Watts, and James Maddren; and The Impossible Gentleman with Steve Swallow, Adam Nussbaum, and Gwilym Simcock.

He has taught a music summer school in Altrincham with Iain Dixon and has been a tutor for the National Youth Jazz Collective, in addition to teaching guitar online.


As sideman or guest[edit]

  • Nick Purnell, 1 ,2, 3 (with Peter Erskine, John Taylor) 1991
  • Tommy Smith / Sylvan Richardson, Pyrotechnics (with Jason Rebello) 1993
  • Big Sky 1994
  • Julian Arguelles, Home Truths (with Steve Swallow) 1995
  • Mike Gibbs, By the Way (with Steve Swallow, Bob Moses, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Charlie Mariano) 1996
  • George Russell, It's About Time 1996
  • London Trombone Quartet, Some of Our Best Friends 1996
  • Julian Arguelles, Skull View 1997
  • Steve Plews Ensemble, Anywhere 1997
  • Peter Fairclough, Permission 1997
  • Julian Arguelles, Escapade 1999
  • Steve Williams, Skyward Bound 1999
  • Richard Iles, From Here to There 1999
  • Steve Williams, Lo-Fi 2001
  • North by Northwest 2001
  • Julian Arguelles, As Above, So Below 2004
  • Phil Bancroft, Headlong 2004
  • Steve Berry, In An Ideal World : live at Manchester Jazz Festival 2004
  • Steve Plews Ensemble, Extracts from Infinity 2004
  • George Russell, 80th Birthday Concert 2005
  • Steve Williams, 4 am 2006
  • John Helliwell, Creme Anglaise 2006
  • Anthony Braxton and the Creative Jazz Orchestra, Composition No. 175 / No. 126 2006
  • Tony Faulkner Jazz Orchestra, Thad Jones and the Ellington Effect 2006
  • Vibration Music Society, Primo 2007
  • Mike Walker, Madhouse and the Whole Thing There 2008
  • Paul Towndrow, "Newology" 2009
  • 'Real Book North West' 2010
  • The Impossible Gentlemen, The Impossible Gentlemen 2011 (with Gwilym Simcock, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum)
  • The Impossible Gentlemen, Internationally Recognised Aliens 2013
  • Mike Walker/Stuart McCallum Acoustic Duo, 'Beholden' 2014
  • The Printmakers, "Westerly" 2015
  • Mike Walker/Stuart McCallum Duo, 'The Space Between' 2016
  • The Impossible Gentlemen, 'Let's Get Deluxe' 2016


  1. ^ Farbey, Roger (18 August 2008). "CD/LP Review: Madhouse and the Whole Thing There". All About Jazz. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Fordham, John (22 May 2010). "Music picks of the week". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "A Brief History". Manchester Jazz Festival. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Radio 3 Programmes: Mike Walker's Ropes at the Manchester Jazz Festival". BBC. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 

External links[edit]

This biography was written by Mike Walker himself. This Wikipedia page was put together by Adrian Stevenson on behalf of Mike Walker.