Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Walker, Eugene (Ayers)
Walker, Eugene (Ayers), tenor sax; He got his BME at The Ohio State University. Solo performances have included many notable musicians and entertainers such as Brook Benton, Wilson Picket, Aretha Franklin, Etta Jones, Benny Green, Wild Bill Davis, Bobby Shew, Jimmy Scott, Charles Earland, Lloyd Price, Jimmy Reed, The Isley Brothers, Neil Diamond, Melba Moore, Billy Daniels, Charli Persip, Elvin Jones and Irene Reid. Jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader, studio recording and educator Gene Walker lives in Columbus, Ohio where he currently performs with his own groups, Gene Walker's Generations and The Cotton Club Orchestra. He began performing and touring in 1958 with such groups as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and The Chris Columbo Quintet. In 1965 he toured with the Beatles, playing in Shea Stadium along with King Curtis.
From 1989-2001 Gene was a member of the faculty of The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) where he taught jazz saxophone and small group ensembles. He has also held three Ohio Arts Council residencies. Gene has taught saxophone yearly in Jamey Aebersolds' Summer Jazz Clinics since 1998.
In 1990 and 1991 Gene toured Italy, England, the Netherlands with the Jimmy McGriff Quartet, playing at the prestigious London Club, Ronnie Scott's, and in 1997 Gene performed with the Hank Marr Quartet at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland.
He has served in arts residencies with the Ohio Arts Council, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He performs regularly as a solo artist, as well as with his bands Listen For The Jazz All-Stars; Gene Walker's Cotton Club Orchestra; and Gene Walker's Generations. In addition, he has made a number of distinguished appearances, including at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, NY; Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London, U.K.; North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague, Holland; and Umbria Jazz Festival, Italy.