Russel Walder

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Russel Walder
RUS T2F 3-1.gif
Russel Walder Live at Westpac Sports Stadium 2005
Background information
Born (1959-02-09) February 9, 1959 (age 57)
Origin United States Deerfield, Illinois, U.S.
Genres World, Chamber jazz, Ambient, Soundtrack, Contemporary Classical
Instruments Oboe, Duduk, Wood Flute, Electronic keyboards, Percussion
Years active 1982 - present
Labels Nomad Soul Records
Website Nomad Soul Records

Russel Walder (born February 9, 1959) is an American Jazz oboist. He is the founder of Nomad Soul Records, composing, recording, touring, and advancing the capabilities of the oboe.


Russel Walder was born and raised in Deerfield, Illinois. Following his graduation from Deerfield High School, he briefly attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

He then attended The Boston Conservatory of Music, and The California Institute of the Arts.[1] He also studied privately with teachers at The New England Conservatory of Music. At age 17, he toured Europe and North America with the United States Youth Symphony, appearing at Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall, among many other notable venues. Walder came onto the contemporary jazz instrumental scene quickly in 1982, at the age of 23, after joining Windham Hill Records and recording Elements with pianist Ira Stein. The pair met at Naropa Institute while studying with the jazz fusion group Oregon. Walder also studied with Oregon jazz legend Paul McCandless. After the success of Elements, Walder's next recording, 1986's Transit, again with Stein, also included performances by Bruce Hornsby and mixing by Mark Isham. He then signed to Narada Records, releasing Under The Eye, again with Stein. The recording also featured Marc Anderson, the percussionist from the Steve Tibbetts Group. The duo toured Europe and Spain numerous times with an expanded lineup of side musicians, and also performed with Kurt Wortman. The pair headlined at the Spain Expo of 1992 in Seville.

Walder continued his solo career, signing with California label Real Music and recording his release Pure Joy,[2] which went on to claim the number one spot on several US radio charts.[3] In 2006, after moving to New Zealand to appear as lead actor in the award-winning feature film The Lunatics' Ball, Walder launched his own music label, Nomad Soul Records.[1] His first release, Rise, was launched in March 2007.[1]

Walder also released notable side projects and duets, trios, and quartets, with musicians such as Will Ackerman,[4] Suzanne Ciani, Michael Gettel, Balafon Marimba Ensemble, Andrew White, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has also contributed as a composer and performer to many compilations, including The Windham Hill Sampler 1986, Comfort Music, Meditation, Windham Hill, The First Ten years, Sanctuary, Dreamscape, Sonia Gaia Collection One, Freedom To Love, and A Winter's Solstice. His work on A Winter's Solstice earned him a Grammy Nomination for Best Instrumental Album in 1988,[5] and went on to also earn him 2 gold records and a platinum sales award.

Walder has been touring for more than 20 years and has composed over 60 pieces. He continues to push limits in both his composition and performance.

Creative Bids[edit]

Russel Walder, CEO and founder of Creative Bids - 2012. Creative Bids is a Video Bidding platform that allows a global audience to connect and bid for a wide range of services. Creative Bids connects people to their dream projects around the world.

Nomad Soul Records[edit]

Russel Walder in 'Prayers for the Millennium'

Russel Walder launched Nomad Soul Records in 2006 from his state-of-the-art recording studios in Auckland, New Zealand. He has ventured into feature film soundtracks, and has scored several soundtracks for the Discovery Channel. Rise was the first CD from Nomad Soul Records and featured Walder arranging, producing, recording, mixing, composing, and performing all of the instruments on the CD, including the middle-eastern-sounding Duduk. Walder also played all keyboards, percussion, and piano on Rise, as well as extending his use of complex mixing and sampling technologies. He has been in demand as a soundtrack composer and producer.


In 2005, Walder produced and co-composed Kura Huna with New Zealand singer Whirimako Black.[6] Kura Huna was based on stories from the Tuhoe Tribe that were hundreds of years old. These laments were highly poetic and mournful. In 2011, he produced another album for Whirimako for Ode Records, called The Late Night Plays, her first all-English album of classic jazz and blues-related material.

Walder is currently producing The Day I Met Myself, a new recording by the Kevin Keller Ensemble, scheduled for release in October 2012.[7]


Walder has developed a unique signature style of improvisation. This musical language is a combination of jazz, north-African chant, Arabic melisma, contemporary European classicism, ancient Hebrew psalms, and modal scales. He has called it 'Nomad Soul Style.'

Oboe Contributions[edit]

Continuing his tradition of borrowing tones and techniques from a wide array of musical sources, Walder has made alterations to the oboe tone palette. His sound is a complex combination of sophisticated mixing filters, custom-designed room reverbs, and oboe reed designs.


Solo Recordings
  • Bruce Lipton's Music for a Shift in Consciousness (2011)
  • Rise (2006)
  • The Breathing of the World (2005)
  • Pure Joy (2002)
  • Guitarra Cheltica with Andrew White (1999)
Stein/Walder Duo
  • Under the Eye (1990)
  • Transit (1986)
  • Elements (1982)
  • Past Light with William Ackerman & Ira Stein (1983)
Symphonic Projects and Soundtracks
  • Kakadu National Park (Discovery Channel, 2007)
  • Fiordland National Park (Discovery Channel, 2007)
  • Standing on the Shoulders of the Many (2006)
  • Reluctant Revolutionary (2005)
  • Ice Bow New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (1999) (from the film The Lunatics' Ball)
  • History of my Heart (1989) with Suzanne Ciani
  • Places in Time (1992) with Michael Gettel
  • Harare to Kisangani (1993) with Balafon
  • Guitarra Celtica (1999) with Andrew White
  • Joan of Arc (1999) with Radha Sahar,
  • And as a key player on many other projects.
With Female Vocalists
  • One Caitlin Smith (2002)
  • Windham Hill Sampler (1986)
  • Windham Hill: First Ten years (1990)
  • Sonia Gaia Collection One (1990)
  • Narada Collection One (1990)
  • Winters Solstice II (1990)
  • Sanctuary (1996)
  • Meditation (2001)
  • Dreamscape (2000)
  • Freedom To Love (2002)
  • Comfort Music 1 (2004)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Russel Walder RISE Retrieved on 17 May 2007.
  2. ^ Real music:Russel Walder
  3. ^ Russel Walder the big
  4. ^ Recording / Year / Artist Will Ackerman's official site
  5. ^ Russel Walder
  6. ^ June News from Independent Music New Zealand
  7. ^

External links[edit]