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About Walter Beasley

I have sold over a million units in my career and educated thousands of music students. My goal for this page is to share personal moments and life lessons . Let’s go 

Considered by fans and critics alike as being one of the music industry’s most influential artists, Walter Beasley is the acclaimed saxophonist, vocalist, educator, and entrepreneur of our time. Moving into the year 2000, he became known for not only being the highest selling full time faculty member ever, but also the only teacher, in history, to successfully grace the Billboard charts for four decades.
Born in 1961 in the town of Brawley,
and transitioning to El Centro,California, Beasley’s melodious roots
were established as he was introduced
to not only the African American
sounds of R&B, Motown and Gospel ,
but also to Spanish culture and the
vibes of Mariachi and Boleros; to namea few. “I learned that the language was
beautiful” says Walter, and by the age
of 13, he was not only playing, but
singing in Spanish as well. Beasley
attributes much of his appetite for jazz
to Mr. Jimmie Cannon, who at the time
had come off the road from playing with the late Count Basie, and settled in the area; taking time to mentor young ears.
Beasley had opportunities to be a part of several bands; including Christian, R&B and Latin. However,it was at the age of 13 where his first band experience was as a part of the group “Los Elegantes”, which was “one of the most versatile bands I had ever played in”, says Beasley. Classically trained, Beasley says of his younger years, “It was really all about the music which not only helped me to stayout of trouble, but also so I could be the best I could possibly be; and to have the ability to see the restof the world.” Beasley says, “by the time I left California, I can honestly say that I was prepared for everything that would happen to me on the east coast”.
Beginning a new chapter, Beasley moved east; stepping into the renowned Berklee College of Music to study in 1979, where he met, connected and played with other saxophonists like Brandford Marsalis and Donald Harrison; becoming known as “The Greasome Threesome”. There he grew as a musician;developing his craft instrumentally and vocally as well as in the area of writing and production. Upon earning his degree, he decided to remain at Berklee as a part of the faculty and developed such a love for education that he continued to teach even while pursuing a vigorous career as a recording artist; in spite of the outside pressure to give it up.

Beasley released his first album, self-entitled, in 1987 and the second called “Just Kickin’ It” in 1989. He recalls a performance where he says “I played my heart out on the saxophone for forty-fiveminutes and people looked at me like I was crazy; until I started to sing “Don’t Say Goodbye” and that’s when the response got crazy. That’s when I said, you never really can prepare for anything; you just have to be prepared.”
As an esteemed music professor, Beasley’s classes included vocal and rhythm section ensembles (in both classroom and performance settings), private sax lessons, vocal delivery for singers and improvisation for instrumentalists, both on campus and at home. He also developed a consulting business geared toward aspiring musicians; helping them to maximize musical performance and skills, overcome performance anxiety, learn jazz/R&B improvisation as well as learning saxophone technique/sound production and R&B/jazz ensemble performance. Beasley states, “not only did Ilearn the art of teaching, but I learned the art of presenting information and helping students to develop a love for music and culture.
As an African American man , having been afforded the opportunity to become a student and teacher at the illustrious Berklee Collage of music, Beasley desired to make sure the door would be open forother African American’s who aspired to have a career in the field of music. To this endeavor, Beasleybecame a part of a movement founded by Mr. John Ramsey, called the “Association of Faculty of African Descent” along with Caroline Wilkins and Ron Mahdi; which Beasley called “the quartet”.This movement was instrumental in bringing the African American population of students and staff atBerklee from 5% to 10% between the late 90’s/early 2000’s.
As a recording artist, Beasley has worked with several labels over the years including Polydor, Mercury, N-Coded Music/Affable and Shanachie. He was able to produce the album “Private Time” in ‘95’ and reminisces that “it was the best time of my life because it was the first time I was free toproduce and express myself without limitation”. He released two albums prior to birthing one of his dreams in becoming the founder and CEO of Affable Publishing and Affable Records. His 2005Heads Up label debut, “For Her”, reached the Top Five on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart while his second 2007 Heads Up/Affable release, “Ready For Love”, peaked at #2 on Smoothjazz.
Being one of the top ten best-selling African-American Contemporary Jazz saxophonists in the worldsince the late 90’s, Beasley, even while establishing himself as a regular presence on the BillboardContemporary Jazz chart, has opened concerts for traditional jazz legends like Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon. He has also shared the stage with contemporary jazz and R&B icons such as Gerald Albright, Layla Hathaway, Bonnie Laws, Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, George Howard, Norman Brown, Bob James, Art Porter, Stephanie Mills, Vanessa Williams and many more. Beasley speaks of his career as“always having been highlighted by exciting live performances” and lovingly recalls his late musician friend, Webster Roach, as being one of the foundations of his live band.
In 2016, Beasley made the decision to leave Berklee. “I had accomplished much and wanted to achieveso much more; not accolades, not awards and not record sales. I just wanted to be happy.” Beasley goes on to say, “One of my finest achievements is in knowing I’ve helped people, by helping myself”.In fact, a quote from concurs, “Walter Beasley easily goes back and forth between moods taking the listener on a journey through the romantic, the playful, and the serious aspects of relationships. We've all been on the same ride. Thankfully, he chose to set his to music, so we could experience it with him." Beasley’s experiences have brought him twenty albums thus far and hundreds of thousands of appreciative lifetime fans who have been healed by the vulnerability of his music. Not only is he gifted, but his humility led him to continue teaching; which, Beasley says “allows me to go directly to students, no matter what the level, and say “this is what you’re going to need to do what I’ve done; and to do it better!”
His newest groove and blues based 2017 EP project, “Blackstreams”, proves that Beasley still has theflavor everyone is looking for as it has been on the Top Ten Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart for 4weeks, while the hit “Don’t say a Word” became #1 on Radiowavemonitor. Beasley says aboutBlackStreams, “this is me saying there is a change in my life, but it also reminds me of where I used tobe growing up where I would just bop my head back and forth and let the music take me away”.Walter Beasley just keeps getting better and his passion for music is just as timeless as what his listeners hear every time he pens a melody, performs before a crowd or teaches eager learners. Continuing to tour all over the country, Walter Beasley is a giant in the music arena and to leaves a mark that will always be a driving force to be reckoned with.
Lead Recordings:
  • 􏰀 Walter Beasley (Polydor, 1987)
  • 􏰀 Just Kickin’ It (Mercury, 1989)
  • 􏰀 Intimacy (Mercury, 1992)
  • 􏰀 Private Time (Mercury, 1995)
  • 􏰀 Walter Beasley Live and More (Affable , 1996)
  • 􏰀 Won’t You Let Me Love You (Shanachie, 2000)
  • 􏰀 Go With The Flow (N-Coded Music/Affable,2003)
  • 􏰀 Live (Affable, 2005)
  • 􏰀 Tonight We Love (Shanachie, 1997)
  • 􏰀 For Your Pleasure (Shanachie, 1998)
  • 􏰀 Rendezvous (Shanachie, 2002)
  • 􏰀 For Her (Heads Up, 2005)
  • 􏰀 Ready For Love (Heads Up/Affable, 2007)
  • 􏰀 Sax Meditations (Affable, 2010)
  • 􏰀 Live: In the Groove (Affable, 2010)
  • 􏰀 Backatcha! (Affable, 2010)
  • 􏰀 Live: In the Club (Affable, 2013)
  • 􏰀 Sax Meditations II (Affable, 2014)
  • 􏰀 I’m Back (Affable, 2015)
  • 􏰀 Blackstreams (Affable Records,2017)
  • The Best of Walter Beasley (The Affable Years) 2018

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