Mike Walker Profile

John Dix
14 Aug 2016

Little-known to the general public, Mike Walker has been one of NZ’s most highly-regarded pianists for over half a century, playing mostly jazz but with a smattering of pop, rock and cabaret.

But for a phone call from a schoolmate in Auckland, Mike Walker might have remained a Thames baker. The call, from guitarist Ned Sutherland, led to a musical career which continues to this day.

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Ray Woolf backed by Mike Walker on piano - Mack The Knife
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Mike Walker
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Tony Hopkins, Kevin Haines and Mike Walker
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The Mike Walker Trio, 2011: Mike Walker, Pete McGregor and Bruce King
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The original session notes for Sandy's 1968 recording of the backing of her hit When You Walk In The Room. The session was produced by Jimmie Sloggett and the musicians included Billy Kristian, Bruce King, Murray Tanner, Gray Bartlett and Mike Walker.
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Brian Smith at Auckland Art Gallery with Mike Walker, Billy Kristian and Tony Hopkins
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Mike Walker, Les Still and Roger Sellers at Auckland's Embers nightclub in the early 1960s
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Bob Gillett, Brian Smith, Tony Hopkins (obscured), Mike Walker and Neville Whitehead
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Mike Walker grew up in a musical family in Thames. This invitation to the 1957 Musicians' Ball in Thames features his father Herb Walker's Collegians and three other local bands. At the time, Mike was 17 and just out of the army.
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Alley Oop: Jimmy Hill, drums, Trevor Harrison, vocals, Billy Kristian, bass and Mike Walker on keys
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Mike Walker Trio backing Ray Woolf: Mike Walker, Pete McGregor, Ray Woolf and Bruce King
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