Rudy Walker – Orange, NJ

Tasty, powerful, dynamic, steady…these are only a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe the
technique and performance of drummer, Rudy Walker. Since the age of seven, Rudy’s natural attraction to
percussion has been in evidence. Starting on the snare drum was the beginning of mastering the entire
drum set, and watching a performance by Billy Brooks set a burning desire in motion.

Even though he entered college as a math major, his passion for music consumed him. Mr. Walker
subsequently spent several years developing his professional technique through hours of daily practice and
by listening and talking to many master drummers like, Eddie Gladden, Bobby Darden, Roy Haynes, Ed
Blackwell, Jimmy Lovelace, Michael Carvin, Billy Hart, Steve McCall, Art Blakey, Billy Higgins, Milford
Graves, Max Roach and Frank Gant, to name a few. The musical culture and traditions of West Africa also
became a passion for Mr. Walker .This led him to study with Obara Wali Rahman and to perform with
Sabar Akru Afric, The International African American Ballet, The Chuck Davis Dance Company, and
master West African drummers, Souleymone Diop and Ladji Camara.

While considering himself a classical jazz drummer, West African rhythms and the blues cannot be separated from his style. With a career that spans thirty years of performance, recording and teaching, Mr. Walker takes tremendous
pride in his contributions to making music with such notables as Sir Roland Hanna, Walter Davis, Jr.,
Randy Weston, Pharaoh Saunders, Lou Donaldson, Sonny Fortune, Bobby Watson, Andy Bey, Gloria
Lynn, Amiri Baraka and Jimmy Scott. Throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Africa and Japan
Mr. Walker has made music with many of the best musicians in the world, whether high profiled or local
legends, music that spans the spectrum of style and craft.

Mr. Walker is active in the New Jersey, New York music community as a beacon of music educational
programming and community outreach. The New Jersey Council of the Arts and New Jersey Performing
Arts Center Residency Program are actively working with Mr. Walker in promoting and insuring that
youngsters have the opportunity to explore self-expression through music.

Mr. Walker is the subject of a documentary film by director/producer, Lahary Pittman, entitled “Rhythm
and Pain.” The documentary explores Mr. Walker’s incredible journey through life through music. When
asked about his future plans, Rudy says, “if I breathe, I play.”



  • Djembe
  • Djun Djun
  • Drums
  • Sangba
  • Small Percussion