Walter Gorra is an award-winning pianist, composer and arranger based out of the New York/New Jersey metro area. Walter is originally from Colorado, but recently moved to New Jersey in order to pursue his Master’s degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging at William Paterson University. Currently 25 years old, Walter graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder Magna Cum-Laude with honors in May 2017 with the following three degrees – MS Structural Engineering, BM Jazz Piano and BS Civil Engineering.
In 2016, Walter led his Colorado quartet in a two month residency at the Denver jazz club – Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club; performing his original music and arrangements. After completing this residency, he and his group, the Walter Gorra Quartet, dove into the studio to record Walter’s first album which is tentatively set for release in the spring of 2018. In February of 2015, Walter received a grant from the Boettcher Foundation to present and play with NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera in a master class and concert. The group, "The Walter Gorra Septet" played with Paquito D'Rivera at the KUVO radio studios in Denver, at the University of Colorado Boulder during a masterclass, and at the Mount Vernon Country Club in Denver.
Walter has also performed and collaborated with Ingrid Jensen, Pete McGuinness, Bill Charlap, Art Lande, Dave Liebman, Greg Gisbert, Victor Mestas, Josh Quinlan, and Calixto Oviedo among others. Walter has performed with various ensembles at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival with the Telluride All-Stars and at the Five Points Festival in Denver with his quartet. Performances have been given throughout New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Puerto Rico and Mexico, with one of his compositions “Jazongo” earning the 2014 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Award, a 2018 Downbeat Student Music Awards Graduate Winner for his original composition "Bandwidth" and a nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” by the 17th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) for his debut album “In Due Time.”
A 2011 Boettcher Scholar, he owes special thanks to the Boettcher Foundation. The Boettcher Foundation has a long history of contributions to Colorado and today continues to invest in the state's "minds and mortar" through its Scholarship Program for Colorado high school seniors. Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) and the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA) have also been instrumental throughout his development – musically and personally.