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Jazz guitarist Joshua Walker at Groovin’ finale

by Bill Powell
Special Events Director, Maritime Museum

Josh Walker and his band.
The cool sounds and smooth rhythms of the American born and bred music form known as “jazz” will highlight the season-ending “Groovin’ in the Park” performance on Saturday, August 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. Joshua Walker will bring his trio of musicians to play their original brand of modern and progressive jazz.

Walker’s music has taken him to many different places since he began playing guitar 17 years ago. He took private lessons with guitarist Mike Ess, a member of the jazz faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, when he was 14 years old. After high school, he attended VCU and graduated in 1999.

He returned to school in 2001 after receiving a scholarship to attend The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. During this time he was also awarded the Charlie Byrd Memorial Scholarship in Guitar from the school. He was one of the first nine full-time jazz students to attend Peabody. He was the first-ever full-time jazz guitar student at the conservatory. His time at the conservatory allowed him to study with giants of the jazz world such as Gary Thomas, Paul Bollenback, Greg Osby, Michael Formanek and Howard Curtis.

Walker has been busy performing in many venues and festivals, nationally and internationally. He has performed on the same concert bill as Charlie Byrd and the Washington Guitar Quintet, as well as appearing at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

With family ties in Middlesex, Walker has promised to “bring it on” for a memorable Groovin’ finale. So bring those lawn chairs, put on those “cool” shades, grab your cooler and . . . enjoy!

Check out Walker’s music at or on his new CD, “Inertia.”

Tickets for the August 22 performance are $10 at the door or can be bought in groups of five tickets for $30—a $20 savings. Children under 12 are admitted free.

Tickets may also be purchased by mail by calling the museum at 776-7200 and leaving your name and address, or at Nauti Nell’s in Deltaville. All proceeds directly benefit the museum and park.

The 36-acre Holly Point Nature Park is open dawn to dusk and encourages folks to come out early, picnic, and enjoy the gardens, Pierwalk, nature trails and museum. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and concert tickets are available inside.

Groovin’ concerts are “cooler friendly” events. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. There is a dedicated blanket area down front. A limited number of folding chairs and picnic tables will be available on the waterfront and more picnic tables are located under the nearby Log Canoe Pavilion—Groovin’s rain shelter.

The park is at 287 Jackson Creek Road and on Mill Creek. Follow the Groovin’ signs and turn right across from NAPA.

posted 08.12.2009

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