CEDAR WALTON (pianist, composer, bandleader) was born January 17, 1934 in Dallas, Texas. One of the great hard bop accompanists, Walton has also had great success leading his own groups. Introduced to notables like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie at an after hours gig in his youth made an impression on Walton who later moved to New York. His stellar associations include J.J. Johnson, Art Farmer and Benny Golson’s Jazztet and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers contributing compositions to the group’s recordings. Trio work with Louis Hayes and Billy Higgins and later Ron Carter in addition to contributing to the jazz repertoire have made Walton a respected and influential musician.