Rick Walker

Percussionist/Producer Rick Walker, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, has appeared on some of Martin Simpson's best known recordings, including 1995's "Smoke and Mirrors" and 1997's "Cool & Unusual".



Composer, multi-Instrumentalist and master percussionist/drummer, Rick Walker has been on the cutting edge of music for the last 25 years. One of the original founding architects of the WORLD BEAT movement and now, as one of the leading lights in the emerging Looping/Electronica movement in Northern California, he incorporates a vast number of world music and pop styles in his repertoire.

He plays well over 1,000 global percussion instruments and and is studied in West African, Caribbean, Brazilian, Middle-Eastern, Indonesian, Indian, European, Celtic, and North American schools of rhythm.

He also plays keyboard instruments, wind instruments, string instruments, found sound instruments, invented instruments and has a fascinating repertoire of unusual and exotic vocal techniques at his command (overtone singing, warble singing, trill singing, gutteral singing, hum-whistling, mouth percussion and effects, yodelling and pygmy bottle blowing/falsetto singing).

He is the author of a multi-volume encyclopedia of rhythm called "GLOBAL BEATS and WORLD POP STYLES" which is in it's fourth volume of research.

Equally adept with acoustic percussion, he is also schooled in electronic drumming, sampling, and electronic processing and is able to seamlessly integrate the most minimal and primal shamanic styles with state-of-the-art technology. He is currently working on perfecting live digital looping techniques and computer sound design with his groundbreaking and timbrally innovative solo performance project, Loop.pooL.

He has written and performed numerous modern dance compositions, taught the prinicples of rhythm to thousands of private students and is the first recipient of the Gail Rich Memorial Award for Service to the Arts.

He has also been very active in the Northern Calfornia region, producing live Looping Festivals, experimental music festivals and the critically acclaimed series, the Santa Cruz Festival of Emerging Electronica in an effort to try to give young and emerging artists venues for their artistry

As a studio recording musician he has played over 1000 sessions (including Martin Simpson, Bob Brozman, Tarika Sammy, Ile Aye and Amel Tafsout) and as a producer has produced recordings for WORLDS COLLIDE, TAO CHEMICAL, LACKADAISY, ILE AYE (BRAZIL), and AMEL TAFSOUT (ALGERIA).

Rick has toured in Europe with Bob Brozman and in the United States with British master guitarist Martin Simpson (playing frame drums, dumbecs, djembes, multiple percussion and drum set) as well as backing a cadre of world master musicians at the renowned, Festival D'Ete in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (Debhashish Battycharya (INDIA), Hiryasu Takashi (OKINAWA),Rene Lacaille (REUNION),Familia Valera (CUBA), George Pilali (GREECE), Djelli Moussa Djawara (GUINEA).

He is currently working on (and producing) CDs for Worlds Collide (his innovative new world fusion project), a solo percussion project, Loop.pooL and a solo project called Hamsa's Hand (incorporating Middle eastern music with Electronica). His latest recording backing Okinawan sanchen master, Hiryasu Takashi, American bluesman, Bob Brozman and Los Lobos leader, David Hidalgo reached number 6 in the European world music charts.

He is an exceptionally veratile and sensitive musician and is eccentrically creative, finding rhythm and melody in hundreds of everyday objects.

Rick Walker's Loop.pooL :

Rick Walker's Loop.pooL is a fascinating and creative one man journey through the world of sound and rhythm. Using digital live looping technology, Rick is able to play a completely different set of instruments on every single song in this early twenty first century version of a "one person's band". He uses these 'loopers' to create repeating real time recordings of the instruments that he plays so that he can quickly change instruments and add other interesting layers to his real time composition.

The classical composer, Arnold Schoenberg once said, "All composition is just very slow improvisation". Rick has taken this truism and sped the process up, creating exotic sonic tapestries that conjure up distant worlds (and not always our own). He will incorporate everything form primal shamanic trance elements to state of the art electronic music.

He uses a huge palette of sound, drawing from found sound instruments, invented instruments, world percussion instruments, wind instruments, keyboard instruments, string instruments and a fascinating repertoire of unusual and exotic vocal techniques (overtone singing, warble singing, trill singing, gutteral singing, hum-whistling, mouth percussion and effects, yodelling and pygmy bottle blowing/falsetto singing). He also incorporates state of the art digital processing and production techniques, using analog filters, vocoders, digital delays and modulators to add a more timeless patina to his performances.

One improvisation may only use pieces of Dayglo Green Plastic (replete with black lights and strobes) while another will combine a Vietnamese Bau (a one string instrument), a glass ghatam (pitch bending Indian instrument) and a Native American drone flute. He performs compositions for blue glass, springs, brass candie dishes and children's plastic toys yet will turn around and play a beautiful middleeastern traditional rhythm on all traditional instruments. He may also produce beautiful melodic overtones out of an ordinary kitchen stove gas pipe or play a Martha Stewart* brass waste paper basket like a tabla.

Loop.pooL performances also have a high degree of audience participation woven into them. Rick asks his whole audience to participate in his looping madness by passing out unsusual instruments and found sounds for them to play. He also teaches people how to overtone sing and gets them to add non-lyrical vocal techniques to his loops. These performances appeal to everyone from 5 year olds to septuginarians because of their participatory nature.

Rick Walker's Loop.pooL has performed at venues from Museum Art Galleries to10,000 person Massiv Raves. He has played for Silicon Graphics executive power dinners as well as free performances at Santa Cruz's Rio Theatre. He will play anywhere for any occasion because he thinks of Live Looping as the folk music of the future.


Rick Walker and Loop.pooL can be reached by telephone at (831) 425-8659 or by this Email Link


*Martha Stewart Brand fine products since 1998. A wholey owned subsidiary of K-Mart Corporation

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