Mike Walbridge

Mike Walbridge, a highly-respected jazz tuba player and pianist, was born in Los Angeles in 1938. Walbridge discovered jazz music through his father’s vast collection of classic jazz records as a child, and he took up the trumpet. He joined his high school band and was convinced to switch to the sousaphone. This was when his musical career began. After graduating, he joined Chicago Stompers. He also served a time in the military, becoming a member the Original Salty Dogs in 1960s. In addition to leading his own large band, the Chicago Footwarmers Hot Dance Orchestra, which specializes in swing music from 1920s and 1930s, he was also a member the Chicago Stompers. The Footwarmers, which were formed in 1958, are still active under Walbridge’s leadership. Walbridge has collaborated with a number of jazz musicians, including George Brunis and Hal Smith, Art Hodes. Clancy Hayes, Art Hodes. Wally Rose, Turk Murphy. Bill Reinhardt. Ted Butterman. Ted Butterman. Ernie Carson. Crazy Rhythm was released by Delmark Records in 2007, and is credited to Mike Walbridge of the Chicago Footwarmers. This CD featured two sessions from the mid-’60s originally released by Blackbird Records, as well as tracks from a 2007 session. Walbridge still has his home in Chicago. Allmusic

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