Meet Wally West
Wally West is an award-winning and critically acclaimed musician who embraces a unique and deep-rooted passion for the performance and teaching of music. Wally was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in December 1961. He graduated from Walter Hines Page High School in 1980, and then immediately went on to earn a Bachelor of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 1983.
After college, Wally has continued his education out in the real world, as he has performed all across the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, touring, recording, and performing with such popular acts as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bob Hope, Joe Williams, Lou Rawls, Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Spinners, The O'Jays, Clay Aiken and Natalie Cole, as well as Arturo Sandoval, Branford Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Mercer Ellington, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Carl Fontana, Bobby Shew, Ellis Marsalis, John Pizzarelli and numerous other jazz and popular artists. Furthermore, he has also performed across the United States as a member of the USO Jazz Orchestra and the USAirways Jazz Orchestra, performing for presidents Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and countless other entertainment, political and military dignitaries. Wally performs regularly with the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and North Carolina Symphonies for their POPS Concert Series.
Wally has served as musical contractor and recording artist for Kindermusik International for their musical curriculum CDs, which are used worldwide. Wally is also visible on the Motown, Summit, EMI, Rockhouse and New Moon record labels as a recording artist. He has also served on the jazz studies faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill from 2001 to 2004. Wally spent 14 years, from 2000 to 2013, as a member and the executive director of the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. He is a co-founding member and Administrative Director of The Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra, North Carolina's newest, most exciting and unique big band. Wally recently joined the faculty of Gardner-Webb University as Instructor of Jazz Studies.
In 2001, Wally was featured on the cover and in an article and interview in Saxophone Journal, the leading magazine spotlighting the best saxophone players in the world. (Click HERE to read the interview).
Today, in addition to owning and operating Wally West Music Resource, Wally works for the City of Greensboro through City Arts and The Music Center as the conductor of the Greensboro Youth Jazz Ensemble. He also serves as music director and project coordinator for the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop in High Point, NC, sponsored by the High Point Arts Council. It was in 2006 when Wally won the Mayor's Award for Teaching Excellence highlighting his gift of working with young jazz musicians at the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop. Wally’s experience in both performance and instruction has him called upon as an adjudicator and clinician for high school and college jazz festivals. Wally also serves on the Board of Advisors at the Guilford Technical Community College School of Entertainment Technology.
Wally's wife Cathy is the Coordinator of Music and Arts at Christ United Methodist Church in Greensboro, where they are members. They have an 18-year-old son, Aaron, who looks forward to beginning his college career at Appalachian State University in the Fall of 2016 as a Music Industries major. Last, but certainly not least, are the family doggies - Foster, a mixed-breed pooch, and Sonny, a wire-haired dachshund.
Wally volunteers his time to deliver Mobile Meals to homebound senior citizens.