The Jazz Hour
Chris Walker (Clarinet & Saxophones) 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 founder member of The Real Ale & Thunder Band for 18 years, and has run his own highly successful 5-piece 'Swingtet' for the last 22 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 produced a series of music and information based jazz programmes for a variety of BBC Local radio across the South.
In addition to managing and fronting 'The Chris Walker Swingtet', Chris has, for P&O and other Cruise lines,, co-ordinated Jazz Themes aboard several highly appraised cruises. He also acts as jazz advisor to Portsmouth City Council for their Jazz Day every summer on Southsea Sea front and helped set up the original concept for both the Reading and the Chichester Real Ale & Jazz Festivals.
Chris produces and presents his weekly programme “The Jazz hour” on Express FM 93.7 every Sunday at 5.00pm and, on Sundays, at 3pm (repeated on Tuesdays at 9pm) on Forest FM - 92.3. He also produces a complete jazz diary for the area which can be found on the Internet at www.jazzdates.co.uk/solent