Chris was born in 1939 and took up playing clarinet at the age of 15, having been a member of the school recorder band since he was 11. After leaving school he played regularly around the London jazz scene, as a member of The Freddy Shaw Jazzmen, before becoming a professional musician with The London City Stompers and, later, with the Mike Daniels Big Band and Colin Kingwell’s Jazz Bandits. Chris moved to Hampshire in 1969 and, since then, he has worked with most of the local jazz personalities, was a member of The Real Ale & Thunder Band for 18 years, and has run his own highly successful 5-piece ‘Swingtet’ for the last 30 years. Whilst with the Real Ale & Thunder Band, Chris was, in 1987, the musical director for an historic BBC “Songs of Praise” from The Maltings in Farnham and, between 1980 and 2007; he has produced a series of music and information based jazz programmes for BBC Local radio all across the South.
In addition to managing and fronting ‘The Chris Walker Swingtet’ and The Pedigree Jazzband, Chris has, for Messrs P&O Cruises, co-ordinated Jazz Themes aboard 9 highly appraised cruises on board Canberra and Oriana, Aurora and Artemis. He also acts as jazz advisor to Portsmouth City Council for their Jazz Day every summer on Southsea Sea front, helped set up the original concept for the Chichester Real Ale & Jazz Festival.
Chris’ weekly jazz programme can be heard on Castledown Radio at 7.00pm every Sunday. He can also be heard, every Thursday at 9pm, presenting the Jazz hour on Express FM 93.7 – live at www.expressfm.com , on Fridays on Skyline radio at 7pm www.skylinecommunityradio.co.uk and, on Sundays, at 1pm (repeated on Tuesdays at 9pm) on Forest FM – 92.3 – live at www.forestfm.co.uk. The Programme is also broadcast on Sunday evenings at 7.00pm on Castledown radio.
He also produces and presents a complete jazz diary for the area.
Chris is available for public speaking engagements and has a vast repertoire of audio-visually enhanced talks on the themes of the Great American Songbook – the musicians, composers and singers. If you are interested in booking Chris to speak at your event please contact him.