Walter Bankovitch - Pianist/Band Leader
Walter grew up in Burlingame, California, and studied with Anna Mears in Pacifica, California; Walter Rudolph, San Francisco; the Peninsula Conservatory of Music; James L. Jordan (Serra High School band director); and Jose Bowen (Stanford University jazz band director). He has 12 years of formal classical piano studies and has performed since 1986 in venues such as Yoshi's, The Garden City, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Kimball's Carnaval, Johnny Love's Cafe, Cafe Du Nord, J.J.'s Blues, Sacramento Blues Festival, Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland, OR) and Flint Center. Walter has appeared with Stan Getz, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Shew, Rebecca Parris, and Bobby Hutcherson. He is extensively involved with the San Francisco Bay Area vocal jazz community as the accompanist for the Oakland Jazz Choir and for the De Anza College jazz vocal ensembles. Walter also has accompanied many San Francisco Bay Area vocalists. He is no stranger to the recording studio, having contributed piano and keyboard work, compositions, arrangements, and an occasional voice track to over a dozen album and demo projects with blues bands, vocal ensembles, and instrumental ensembles. FSJ guitarist Mike Cohen produced a CD album of original jazz compositions entitled "Fugue" in 1997, featuring Walter and FSJ drummer Carlos Almeida. Walter has composed and arranged tunes for jazz band, LSJUMB (aka the Stanford Marching Band), vocal jazz choir, and small jazz ensembles, has been a faculty accompanist at Jazz Camp West each year since 1995. He also has worked as an accompanist for voice instructors including Seth Riggs, Roger Letson, Rebecca Parris, Rhiannon, Faye Carol, Kellye Gray, Nicolas Bearde, Brenda Boykin,