Walker West Music Academy
Music is alive on any given weekday afternoon in the modest building situated on the corner of Selby Avenue and Avon Street in the historic African American Rondo Community of Saint Paul. Children are keying chords on a grand piano, exercising vocal chords, or practicing an instrumental on horn. This is the location of the historic Walker West Music Academy, a 501c(3) non-profit community school of music, and one of the only African American arts organizations in the nation with a 20 plus year history, that is still in operation.
Over the years Walker West has produced decades of musical phenoms with international appeal, such as recording artists and musicians Larry Waddell and Stokely Williams of Mint Condition; jazz performing artist, songwriter and music teacher Paris Strother; and song writer, performer and recording artist Nikki Jean. Students and their parents come to Walker West in throngs because of its ability to produce skillful musicians; for the guidance and credibility of its dedicated founders the Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West; curriculum focused on music performance and instruction strongly influenced by the African American experience; and the commitment of accomplished staff. A portion of the school’s mission reads as follows: