Mike Walton’s journey into music began at the age of 10 when he began playing alto saxophone. Inspired by the music he heard in the soundtracks of his favorite movies Mike joined the band in middle school. While he did enjoy being in the band, it wasn’t until his junior year in high school that he began to realize that he wanted to have a career in music. Also during his junior year, Mike began taking private lessons from educator and Jazz saxophonist, Kenyon Carter who introduced Mike to jazz music and other saxophonist who would become life long influences in his musical growth.
After high school, Mike attended Valdosta State University where he studied with Carey Brague. He also began studying writing and arranging from David Springfield. While in Valdosta, Mike began playing in the local bars sitting in with rock and funk groups before forming a fusion band with his friends. He gained much experience and began gigging in his third year at VSU including forming his own quartet and performing weekly at a local restaurant. Mike earned his bachelors degree in music performance in 2010.
After graduating from VSU, Mike Walton took time off from school to work on his playing and get more gigging experience. However, he found little opportunity in his home town and decided to enroll at Georgia State University for his masters degree in jazz studies. He continued to hone his skills under the direction of Mace Hibbard as well as Gordon Vernick and Kevin Bales. While attending GSU, Mike Walton had the opportunity to perform with internationally known artists Eddie Daniels, Donny McCaslin, Duffy Jackson and Joey Defrancesco. He also took great advantage of the local music scene in Atlanta regularly attending the weekly jam sessions and performances of local artists. Mike graduated with his masters May of 2014.
Mike Walton currently resides in Atlanta GA where he performs regularly with the Joe Gransden big band and Russell Gunn’s Blackhawk quintet as well as working on his own projects and writing original music. During is down time, Mike Walton enjoys being a geek. He is especially a huge fan of Star Wars and Star Trek. He also enjoys scale model building , reading a good book or watching documentaries. Most of all he enjoys spending time with his closest friends both human and Dog