Earnest Walker Jr Biography

  

Earnest Walker Jr’s solo career kicked off with the recording of his first album “Raindrops in the Sun” in 2000 in which he composed, arranged and produced and quickly sold over 2000 copies at his performances alone. Earnest spent the next several years honing his writing skills and live performances and recorded his second album Variations on a Groove. The album was mixed and mastered by Tracy "Rum" Nelson in Philadelphia who also contributed to the writing & drums on the project. 

 

In 2010 Earnest released a 2 CD live set recorded in Miami’s Crescendo Jazz and Blues Café.  Earnest Walker Jr “Live” volumes 1 and 2 is a favorite among his fans.  Utilizing the talents of Miami’s best musicians, notably Nate Benneby on bass, Alan Paul on keyboards and Jody Hill on drums, this live set illustrates Earnest’s arrangement skills along with his versatility on the saxophone.  The group engages the audiences with modern melodies that evolves into avant garde improvisations that brings the crowd to an uproar. 

 

Earnest is presently in the studio working on his next smooth jazz album that has yet to be named.  This CD will hit the markets in January 2019.

 

From the beginning

Born in a military family, Earnest spent the first 15 years of his life traveling the country. The experience taught him an appreciation of different cultures and musical styles. While still a very young child Earnest's Air Force family was stationed in Hawaii. There he befriended his neighbors, The Wooten family, whose house was continuously filled with live music. While Victor Wooten went on to become one of the most recognized bass players in the world, it was Rudy Wooten on the saxophone that really inspired Earnest. At the age of nine, Earnest started playing the guitar, but a year later he picked up the saxophone and it has been his passion ever since. When he was only 14 years old the established musicians in Pensacola, Florida felt his playing was so essential they would sneak Earnest into night clubs to showcase his talents.

 

Earnest studied music education at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, quickly establishing himself as one of the most sought after saxophonists on campus and around town. After college, Earnest joined the Air Force where he performed with different groups in each town he was stationed. After the military, Earnest toured and performed in most of the central to eastern portions of the country, including Miami, Daytona Beach, Charleston SC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, and Denver. In the late 90's Earnest moved to Philadelphia and became a member of the prestigious smooth jazz band "Blind Date".  Returning to Miami in 2003, Earnest is well known in the “Magic City” as a show stopper that is sure to leave the audience breathless. 

 

On Stage

As solid, compelling and in the pocket as Walker is on disc, he’s best known in the indie urban jazz world as a powerhouse performer whose hip gyrations, sax pumping and sense of swing guarantees that every crowd is in an uproar. A seasoned session player for more than 20 years, Walker’s live performances always packs a punch! Earnest has opened for or joined on stage, such notable performers as Najee, Jill Scott, Mike Philips, Musiq Soulchild, Lenny Williams, Jesse Jones Jr, Shirley Murdock, Freddie Jackson,  Johnathan Butler, Kelly Price, Christopher Williams, Marcus Johnson and more and he shines on stage with every performance.  Earnest Walker Jr was hired by Michael Baisden to be the house band for his annual New Year’s eve party that was to be held in Miami, FL, but was cancelled due to the cancellation of the Baisden radio show. 

Earnest was a great hit at the 2018 Gulf Coast Summer Fest-Jazz edition in Pensacola, Florida sharing the stage with Boney James, Jeff Lober, Everett Harp, Julian Vaughn and Nick Colionne.

 

Recent performances

The 2018 Gulf Coast Summer Fest-Jazz Edition

The 2017 Gulf Coast Summer Fest – Jazz Edition Kick Off Party

The Overtown Music and Arts Festival (2 years in a row)

The 32nd Annual Sistrunk Festival -- FT. Lauderdale, FL

Cafe Iguanas -- Pembroke Pines, FL

Talk Of The Town Jazz Music -- Durham NC

The Grotto Hall -- Pensacola, FL

Crescendo Jazz & Blues Lounge -- Miami, FL

Zanzibar Blue -- Philadelphia, PA

Jazz It Up Jazz Festival at Virrick Park -- Coconut Grove, FL

Grand Café – Pembroke Pines, FL

6 In The Mix on NBC 6 – Miami, FL

First Fridays Miami – Miami, FL

Jazz & Jokes Miami – Miami, FL

 

Reviews

“While sax loving urban jazz fans wait with baited breath for the next CDs from superstars Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum and Boney James, sometimes the freshest, most sensual and funky surprises come from lesser known but incredibly fresh indie artists like Earnest Walker Jr. The title of Earnest’s second album, Variations on a Groove, says it all about the mix of seductive cool and explosive rhythmic energy he’s bringing to the contemporary landscape. Check him out and you’ll realize that the best variations on a groove come from staying connected to the unexpected.” ~Jonathan Widran, Jazziz Magazine, All Music Guide

 

“What can one say about such a well played and produced album? I'd like to say it is 'Earnestly Groovy' and shows many of the skills this saxophonist holds. For those who think Sax playing is somewhat passé, take a listen to this album and think again!” ~Highlands Radio 100.7 FM--Australia

 

“Earnest Walker Jr. brings to his collection "Variations On A Groove" a very wide, eclectic view of the contemporary music scene. I particularly enjoy "Tiera's Dance" and the selection "Variations on a Groove", where Earnest shines on his sax.” ~Western's Public Radio

 

“Smooth jazz and saxophone is nearly synonymous and it's a hard job to succeed in music business and especially in this genre where one can find so many professional instrumentalists - but I really believe that Earnest Walker Jr. can win the race. After his first album, Raindrops In The Sun, this album is his second effort to gain the attention of fans and industry professionals. Earnest proves that he knows the groove indeed and is well qualified to bend and shape it as he wishes and always to the delight of his audience.” ~HBH, smoothjazz.de, Germany