This week, COREnered swings with the soulful notes of Myron Walden, an artist who began learning his craft on an old alto saxophone from the storage closet of his elementary school, which lacked a music department. Not a one-instrument man, Walden explores stories and emotions through the notes of his soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, and bass clarinet. Walden proves there are no limitations to his musical expression, as his many musical projects and compositions bring out jazz, blues, soul, and everything in between.


Myron Walden's Official Website

Myron Walden In This World - What We Share

  1. What is your first musical memory?

    My grandmother had an old piano in the garage, an upright that hadn't seen
    the light of day in forever, but I found it. I remember plunking the keys
    and being pleased with the sounds. I had no idea that that sound on the
    radio came from anything related to this box in the garage. It wasn't clear
    to me at that time that you could play more than one key at a time and end
    up making music. I just liked that when I hit one key it made a sound, and
    when I hit another it made a different sound.

  2. What was the first concert you ever went to?

    The first jazz performance I saw was Jesse Davis at Augie's (now Smoke). I
    was in high school and practicing out of a Charlie Parker book when a friend
    of mine said he wanted to take me to hear somebody who sounded like Bird. I
    didn't believe him. I'd heard the older kids at school play and, yes, they
    were better than I was, but they were no Bird. So I was in. We got there
    early and saw the band loading in, and from the very first notes my fate was
    solidified. Every Friday and Saturday for as long as I can remember I was
    there at Augie's checking Jesse out. I was struck by the level of
    commitment he had to what he was doing and that he did it with such

  3. What or whom do you go to for musical inspiration?

    I get inspiration from everyone and everything I encounter. I am both very
    sensitive and analytical, so I am constantly relating experiences and
    observations to my art. Some of the inspiration is personal: my wife, for
    example. Some inspiration comes from my musician friends: Ron Blake has
    been particularly important in encouraging my tenor saxophone voice, and
    Brian Blade opened me up to a very broad range of musical expression.
    Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, birds, books, movies, scenes on the street…are
    all examples of where I find inspiration. I am fortunate that I have
    learned to translate life's inspirations into my music.

  4. Without using the words "alternative," "pop,” or "rock," describe your

    I've been trying to get my sound to be a sonic representation of my life.
    Life doesn't come at you just one way. Each of the instruments I choose to
    play and each of the bands that I lead is distinct, reflecting different
    aspects of me and different voices within me. There is great compositional
    variation among my bands' sounds and personalities–Momentum (jazz, harmonic
    movement), In This World (meditative and sensual) and Countryfied (bluesy
    and earthy). And the instruments themselves (soprano, alto and tenor
    saxophones and bass clarinet) have their own idiosyncrasies. As I explore
    them I'm able to further expand upon and widen my range of expression, but
    the sound I try to bring forth on every instrument is the same: open, broad,
    lush, emotional and honest.

  5. Stones or Beatles?

    Challenging question. I didn't grow up with either band's music in the
    atmosphere, so I know them through their recorded music and not through
    their public images. I like both of them but for different reasons. The
    Stones straight forward, bluesy, raunchy feel appeals to me while I like the
    Beatles for their clean and well arranged songs, with twists, turns and
    refined presentation. Forced to pick one, I would choose the Stones for the
    less adorned sound.

  6. What's your dream collaboration?

    My dream collaboration is to play with artists who strive to paint pictures
    through their instruments. What I am looking for is beyond technique,
    wizardry, acrobatics and a peacock-like display. I love to be with artists
    who bring life through their instruments, and who are more concerned with
    the feeling and intent of the sound that emanates from their instrument than
    with impressing other musicians with fanfare. With that being said there is
    a lot of history to digest and as a professional musician it is also
    imperative that one spends time listening. After listening and being
    informed about the various era's/styles of music that coexisted and evolved
    from one to another and what gave them their character you are better able
    to share and participate in fruitful and creative collaborations. Perhaps
    then one could play a ballad about a "lost love" and have an audience all
    weeping by mid song envisioning the pain that a lover feels when they're
    left alone. I believe, as a musician when your abilities and intentions are
    in line one can convey sentiments and paint pictures more convincingly.
    Whatever artists share this vision would be my dream collaboration.

  7. Do you find the song or does the song find you?

    The song finds me, it comes when it's ready and when it comes, I've learned
    to submit to it's will. There have been times when it comes like an
    avalanche and I can barely stay ahead of the flow. In those times I have to
    rely on notation shorthand and musical memory to get it all. In recent
    years I've been listening to a more varied selection of music. At one time
    my sound had a singular feel, and the compositions were such that they
    allowed for a way of improvising based solely on the chords. I made a
    conscious decision to do so. Recently, though, I realized I wanted my sound
    to be fuller and more of a sonic representation of my life, based more on
    what I lived and how I felt than on what I studied. So yes, the song finds
    me, but it is not without a certain amount of prepping and attentiveness.

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