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Walter Blanding

 
Instrument

Saxophone

Links

Walter Blanding was born into a musical family on August 14, 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio. He began playing the saxophone at age six and by age 16, he was performing regularly with his parents at the Village Gate. Blanding attended LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts and continued his studies at the New School for Social Research where he earned a B.F.A. in 2005. His 1991 debut release, Tough Young Tenors, was acclaimed as one of the best jazz albums of the year, and his artistry began to impress listeners and critics alike. He has been a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra since 1998 and has performed, toured and/or recorded with his own groups and with such renowned artists as the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Roy Hargrove, Hilton Ruiz, Count Basie Orchestra, Illinois Jacquet Big Band, Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Isaac Hayes, and many others. Blanding lived in Israel for four years and had a major impact on the music scene while touring the country with his own ensemble and with U.S. artists such as Louis Hayes, Eric Reed, Vanessa Rubin, and others invited to perform there. He taught music in several Israeli schools and eventually opened his own private school in Tel Aviv. During this period, Newsweek International called him a “Jazz Ambassador to Israel.”

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