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    Walker, James

    Flautist who graduated from the University of Louisville, then played for the United States Military Academy Band, and eventually landed in the Associate Principal Flute chair with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1969.  He emigrated to L.A. and became the Principal Flutist for the L.A. Philharmonic, where he stayed for seven years, and even did a stint with the New York Philharmonic in 1982 when they toured South America. 


    What James longed to do was play jazz, and he left the Philharmonic to do just that, forming a jazz ensemble entitled Free Flight in the mid-‘80s.  The group was pretty successful, appearing regularly on The Tonight Show and topping the charts with 1988’s Slice of Life. 


    Being in L.A. afforded James the opportunity to play on hundreds of movie soundtracks.  Here is a small sampling:  Apollo 13, Batman Forever, Clear and Present Danger, Dante’s Peak, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Forrest Gump, Ghostbusters, Home Alone, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Jurassic Park, The Karate Kid, Lethal Weapon, Master and Commander, National Treasure, Out of Africa, Pirates of the Caribbean, Queen of the Damned, Real Genius, Schindler’s List, Toy Story, Under the Tuscan Sun, Volcano, War of the Worlds, Yours, Mine and Ours, and Zoolander. 


    A few of the artists he has worked with include Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, Sir Paul McCartney, and Frank Sinatra. 


    In his copious free time, James passes along his accumulated wisdom to a new generation of flautists:  He has taught at Arizona State University, Carnegie-Mellon, Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of North Texas, and the University of Texas in Austin.  He currently teaches at Colburn Conservatory and USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he has the estimable title of Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Flute Studies.  He has also added authorship to his resume, as he is working on a series of flute-instruction books. 


    Jean-Pierre Rampal has cited James as his favourite jazz flautist. 



    1. http://www.jimwalkerflute.com/
    2. http://www.jimwalkerflute.com/about.html
    3. http://www.jimwalkerflute.com/soundtracks.html
    4. http://www.mp3.com/artist/free-flight/summary/












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