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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Nancy Walker

Biography

NANCY WALKER (pianist, composer) was born on June 9, 1957 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Walker fell in love with jazz during her teen years. An honors graduate of Humber College's Music Program, she established a solid career as a sideperson for a variety of international recording and concert acts outside the jazz idiom, including Raffi, The Parachute Club, Sylvia Tyson, Roger Whittaker, and the late Hagood Hardy, work which took her to Europe, and across Canada and the United States, including performances at the legendary Carnegie Hall.

Since the mid-'90s, Walker has focused completely on her career in jazz music. She was one of six pianists invited to attend the Banff International Jazz Workshop in 1994, where she studied with Kenny Wheeler, John Clayton, Jim Hall, and Muhal Richard Abrams. The same year, her compositions were included in the first All-Canadian Jazz Fakebook, published by Beldriana Publishing. She was the featured composer in Jazz Report Magazine's Spring 1998 Issue "Composer's Corner". With a Canada Council for the Arts grant in 1999, Walker studied in New York City with renowned jazz piano master Fred Hersch.

As a sideperson, Nancy Walker can be hear on a number of Canadian jazz recordings including Melissa Stylianou's Bachelorette, Victor Bateman's Jazz Guy, and the Jane Fair/Rosemary Galloway Quintet's Waltz Out. In both 2001 and 2002, she was a member of the John Geggie Trio when they performed as the house band for the Ottawa Jazz Festival’s nightly jam sessions. She has appeared at all of the major jazz festivals from coast-to-coast in Canada and was featured with her quartet during the 2003 IAJE Convention in Toronto.

Awards:

1997 - debut recording as leader (Invitation on the Unity/Page label) voted one of the year's best by Jazz Canadiana reviewers

2000 - second CD (Luminosity) voted one of the top jazz recordings of the year by Toronto Star jazz critic Geoff Chapman

2003 – Winner of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz

2004 - Nominated for ‘Acoustic Group of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards

2005 – Nominated as ‘Keyboardist of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards

2005 – Nominated as ‘Musician of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards

2005 – Nominated for ‘Acoustic Group of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards

2005 – Nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards

2008 – Winner as ‘Keyboardist of the Year’ in the National Jazz Awards