Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Gary Walters, jazz and popular piano


Gary Walters holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Ball State University and a Master of Music in Composition from Butler University.

He has been on the faculty of Butler University's School of Music since 2000. Gary has taught Introductory Jazz Piano for non-majors, Jazz Band II, Music Theory for Media Arts, and currently teaches Jazz Combo and Applied Jazz Piano.

Gary records and tours with Rounder Records recording artist and Grammy winner Carrie Newcomer, a consummate singer-songwriter with 15 albums of original music and an audience that spans the United States. In 2011 Gary accompanied Carrie Newcomer on a 3 week tour of India, performing and teaching at American Embassy Schools.

Gary performs with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Jack Everly, as well as other Pops conductors. He has accompanied guest artists including Wayne Brady, Anne Hampton Calloway, Liz Calloway, Steve Lippia, Jeff Tyzik, Bebe Neuwirth, Leslie Uggams, the Cast of Hairspray and many others.

Gary has also been one of two accompanists for the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative High School Vocal competition since its inception. That experience includes a week of intense vocal workshops with Michael and other guest artists including Sandi Patty, Jane Monheit, Sylvia McNair, Cat Russell and Jim Caruso. 

Other performances include artists including Alan Vizutti, Victor Krauss, The Capitol Quartet, Byron Stripling, Urbie Green, Anne Peckham and others. He has played in Broadway touring companies of Will Rogers Follies, Grease, and Oldies acts including Martha Reeves, The Marvelettes, Gary U.S. Bonds, Bobby Helms and others.

Locally Gary collaborates with the Icarus Ensemble, an eclectic group that includes three members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra along with Butler Faculty colleague Jon Crabiel. They perform original material written by Gary and other members that reference jazz, world music and classical. He also accompanies Steven Stolen in his Meridian Song Project concerts as well as his cabaret shows.  He most recently recorded a duo album with clarinetist Shawn Goodman, also a member of Butler's faculty.

He has composed and arranged in many styles for radio and television commercials and in collaboration with lyricists and songwriters. His compositions have appeared on recordings as a member of Time Out, Cathy Morris, small Talk, the Carter-Markiewicz Quartet, the Icarus Ensemble, and most recently, his solo piano recording "Moments in Time".

Gary has been writing chamber works incorporating elements of post-Modernism and improvisation. His "Mongrel No. 1" for solo piano, was premiered by Stephen Beus, winner of the 2006 American Pianist Association competition.  His composition, "3x3x3" (for String Trio and Jazz Trio in 3 movements), was premiered at Butler University in March 2011.


Learn more about jazz studies at Butler University.

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