trumpet player, grew up in a musical family near Detroit, Michigan which inspired him to begin his
musical career. Walter White learned to play the baritone horn and tuba before settling on trumpet
by the age of nine. Walter has been educated at the Interlochen Center For the Arts, The Juilliard School, the University of Miami, and The Banff Centre, Walter’s former trumpet teachers include William Vacchiano, John Lindenau, Vincent Cichowicz, Mel Broiles, Leon Rapier, Carmine Caruso, Jerome Amend, and Kenny Wheeler.
Walter's expressive trumpet-playing led him to collaborate with many of the top names in music including: Bob James, Dave Holland, the Mingus Big Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Gunther Schuller, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, and Arturo Sandoval. This list also includes David Matthew's Manhattan Jazz Orchestra with whom Walter recorded seven award-winning records for the Japanese market. During the early 1990's, Walter toured and recorded with his boyhood hero, trumpet player Maynard Ferguson, and is featured on the CD, Live from London, playing "The Fox Hunt," a sizzling duet with Maynard recorded at the world-famous jazz club, Ronnie Scott's, in London's Soho district.
Presently, Walter serves as leader of the Walter White Jazz Quartet, and his 11-piece big band, Walter White & Small Medium @ Large, who recently released the recording, Breaking Good, which received substantial national radio play and reached into the top 20 on the Jazz Week charts. The band opened for Pat Metheny at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival and was featured performers at the 2013 International Trumpet Guild Conference, playing their own set and backing up trumpet great, Arturo Sandoval.
Walter's playing has enhanced the sound tracks of records, movies, and television, including network sitcoms, TAXI and The Cosby Show. As a recording studio owner, Walter produces music for records, television, and film. In 1994, Walter produced the Walter White Long-tone Accompaniment, a play-along CD for music practice, now in its third printing. Walter is active as an educator. He teaches privately and holds master classes at music schools across the country and abroad. Walter is a frequent guest soloist with leading university jazz ensembles and has been an artist-in-residence at Rutgers University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Tulsa University.
Walter performs on the Yamaha YTR 8310Z Bobby Shew Custom Series Professional Model Bb Trumpet and the Yamaha 8310Z Bobby Shew Custom Series Professional Model Flugelhorn. Walter's main lead trumpet mouthpiece has been a modified Yamaha Bobby Shew lead mouthpiece. The modifications were done at the Yamaha Ginza shop by Hidechi Aoyagi. They include deepening the cup slightly, opening the throat, and taking weight off the mass (skeleton-izing). As Walter prefers narrower mouthpieces, he has also been using a recently acquired Bach Mt. Vernon 10.5 C, and the latest versions of Joe Shepley's patented 4D mouthpieces, in brass and Delryn.
I currently play Yamaha trumpets, specifically the 8310Z Bobby Shew model. My main lead mouthpiece for the past ten years has been a modified Yamaha Bobby Shew lead mouthpiece.The modifications were done at the Yamaha Ginza shop by Hidechi Aoyagi. They include deepening the cup slightly, opening the throat, and taking weight off the mass (skeleton-izing). As I prefer narrower mouthpieces, I've also been using a recently acquired Bach Mt. Vernon 10.5 C, and the latest versions of Joe Shepley's patented 4D mouthpieces, in brass and Delryn.
Efficiency, consistency, easier to slot the notes, did I say efficiency?
It's best to find a place that has several different trumpet models to choose from. One should take their time, and play the same scales, arpeggios, licks, etc. on each set-up, making sure to rest sufficiently between mouthpiece and horn combinations. It's a good idea to have someone else along (a teacher) to help with comparisons. Ideally, once a desirable combination is achieved, time should be spent with the setup in a real world environment for a week or two.
I use the Wedge breath as taught by Bobby Shew and practiced by myself, Roger Ingram, Greg Gisbert, Wayne Bergeron, etc., is a very important concept to understand as related to air speed (velocity) and compression. The three-part breath, Pranyama, The Science of Breath, and other reading material can help with deepening one's awareness of proper breathing.
I have many practice exercises to work on the upper register including short bursts, rips, arpeggios, etc., however, I believe that the muscles of the face need to be strong yet supple, and in complete balance, so I practice a lot of SOFT, breath-attacked long-tones in all registers of the horn (with much resting, light flapping of lips, and facial massage and stretching in between notes).
I think the most important thing is developing enough facial strength to withstand the amount of VELOCITY necessary for upper-register playing without experiencing a blow-out. Practicing long-tones pianissimo in the extreme upper-register is also a great way to introduce chops to the slots without undue stress to the lips. I recommend the Walter White Long-tone Accompaniment as an enhancement to long-tone practice.
Additional Comments: Always strive to play musically, but also realize that some exercises are meant to be purely physical. Facial yoga poses, like the Lion pose, which alternately contract and expand the facial muscles, can be beneficial to overall relaxation and suppleness of the trumpet chops. Listening to recordings of great lead players of the past and present is inspiring and educational. Take your time and strive for tone.