Versatile bassist Doug Walker pours his love of music into every performance. He has been on the San Diego scene for the last 17 years, backing up many of the city’s renowned artists across the spectrum of musical genres. His particular passion for modern jazz has afforded him performances with many local legends, and has inspired an abundance of original compositions and arrangements. But whether he’s accompanying the various styles of jazz, earthy blues, funky soul, breakneck bluegrass or folky roots-rock, Walker’s classically trained, jazz-minded approach merges with his stylistic faithfulness—a rare combination that has earned him praise among these intersecting circles of musicians.
Walker aims to play an integral role in every project that comes his way, whether as a leader or as a supporting artist. On stage, he plays in the moment, ready to roll with any spontaneous change of direction. In the studio, he delivers thoughtfully supportive bass lines worthy of their permanence. Numerous live and recorded performances have encountered receptive audiences and favorable press.
Doug Walker was born and raised in northern California, in the foothills just east of Sacramento. His interest in music began as far back as he can remember. He first studied saxophone before discovering electric bass at age fourteen. Inspired by the bass-dominated bands of Les Claypool and Flea, he became serious about the craft that would soon lead to their predecessors Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, and Jaco Pastorius. Walker’s interest in jazz and the upright bass flourished while studying with Dr. Joe Gilman at American River College, where he sought after the sound of a deeper line of heroes—Ron Carter, Ray Brown and Scott LaFaro. Walker later transferred to San Diego State University on a full scholarship. There he performed in orchestra, jazz big band and small combos while studying privately with celebrated bassist Bob Magnusson, ultimately earning a Master of Music degree in jazz studies. Walker continues to teach, compose and perform throughout San Diego, where he is often recognized as one of the few left-handed upright bassists on the planet.