Walter Blanding was born in Cleveland, OH, and began playing the saxophone at age 6. At age 10, he moved with his family to New York City where, for the next 7 years, he studied with legendary pianist and educator Barry Harris. He continued his studies at the New School University for Social Research, where he also learned with renowned artists Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, Joe Chambers, Jackie Byard, Jimmy Cobb, and more. As a dedicated supporter of education in the arts over the last 18 years, he has taught master classes, clinics and workshops at schools, universities, and institutions in 6 of the 7 continents. Blanding has performed, toured, and recorded with Branford Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, The Count Basie Orchestra, Isaac Hayes, and many others. He is also currently a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and of the Wynton Marsalis Quintet.