A finalist for the NYC Jazz Mobile Vocal Competition, Michelle Walker is a dynamic, powerhouse vocalist. In April 2017, Michelle was featured in Asia Esquire Magazine sitting down with the editors discussing the tour. Her previous project, Love Misery, received critically acclaimed and Michelle traveled to over 8 countries touring the release through the end of 2018 in support of the CD. Show tour dates included concerts in the USA, Canada, Europe, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand and China.
With a strong performance foundation, Michelle has firmly established herself as an international rising jazz artist. Highlights of her career include multiple tours in Europe, performing in the Lincoln Center Women in Jazz Festival, touring with jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy, performing at The Minsk Jazz Festival, sharing festival bills with Take 6, Rene Marie, Chris Botti, George Benson, Spyro Gyra, Terrell Stafford, Carol Sloane and Wynton Marsalis as well as performing at The White House for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. She has also performed in concert with noted jazz musicians Joel Frahm, Dena DeRose, Benny Green, Ron Affif, Dan Tepfer, Robert Rodriguez, Benito Gonzales and saxophonist Sam Rivers.
Michelle was the first vocalist asked to perform at the "Hot Jazz" Concert Series a tour throughout Israel which featured jazz veterans Kenny Werner, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, David Hazeltine and Jimmy Greene. Walker has performed most recently at Blues Alley, Baltimore's MICA Performing Art Center and The Black Rock Performing Arts Center where she helped kick off the jazz concert season which has featured Russell Malone, Cyrus Chestnut and Ravi Coltrane. Michelle was invited three times to perform at IAJE conferences in Toronto, New York and outside Los Angeles.
Michelle is often compared to Cassandra Wilson, Nina Simone and Betty Carter in style and tone but has developed her own sound. The uniqueness of her style is found in her shifting rhythmic, lyrical phrasing and her arrangements of songs. Mike Joyce of The Washington Post says, "[Walker]....is leading the pack of rising vocalists with her ear-catching arrangements of well-known pop tunes." In her phrasing, Walker reveals her appreciation for her mentor and jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy. Yet, it is in her creative live performances where you hear the influence of one of her favorite singers, Betty Carter.
Prior to moving to New York City, where she currently resides and performs, Michelle lived and began her vocal career in the Washington, DC area where she released her debut recording, Slow Down. The recording received a Washington Area Musician Association (WAMA) Award nomination for Best Jazz and Debut Album of the year and also a national nomination for Best Independent Jazz Vocal album of the year. While living in the DC area, The Washington Post placed her several times on its Top Ten Area Performers to see perform live. Michelle also served on the Executive Board for the DC Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE).
Michelle Walker | Vocals
Sean Fitzpatrick | Piano
Sam Bevan | Bass
Ken Salters | Drums
Stan Killian | Sax