Clay Aiken – Saturday Night News

In this day and age, news comes from many different sources.  On Saturday night, March 20th, a message was left on FaceBook and it was picked up immediately by Clay Aiken fans.

Chris Walden, a German composer and  arranger left the following message on his “Wall.”

“Chris Walden composer-arranger Clay Aiken’s album “Tried and True” with lots of big band and strings arranged and conducted by yours truly will be out June 1st.”

Although most of Clay’s fans were aware that June 1st was the targeted drop date, many were excited to see confirmation from Walden.  However, we also know that no drop date is a done-deal in the fluid music recording field.

Decca Records seems to be surrounding Clay Aiken with the best of the best.  Chris Walden has an amazing history in the music business.

Chris Walden was born on October 10th, 1966 in Hamburg, Germany.  His mother was a talented soprano from Switzerland.  Chris was surrounded by music at an early age through the many musicians who came to his parent’s home.  At the age of 3, Chris started to play the recorder, and at age 5, he knew how to read music before he even learned the alphabet.  Chris learned to play the piano at age 7 and the trumpet at age 13.  In his high school years, Chris discovered jazz and big band music while playing trumpet in local school bands.  Very soon, he started to write arrangements for those bands.

After graduating from high school, Chris was chosen to join the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra with which he toured for five years.  The leader, Peter Herbolzheimer, encouraged Chris to write arrangements for the band and soon he assisted him with arrangements for many radio and record productions.

After receiving two master’s degrees in music, Walden conducted the RIAS Big Band in Berlin and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band.  He served as musical director for the televised German Movie Award Show for four years and began composing for films and scored about 20 German films and wrote 400 arrangements for big band and symphony orchestra before immigrating to Los Angeles at the age of 29.

His move to the states proved to be an important step in his musical career as he has become an essential artist and composer in many prestigious productions.  Chris has been nominated for four Grammys.

Some of Walden’s recent projects include

  • People’s Choice Awards Opening with Queen Latifah
  • Super Bowl XLIII National Anthem for Jennifer Hudson
  • David Foster and Friends, PBS special and DVD
  • Katie Holmes on So You Think You Can Dance
  • VH1 Divas Live
  • CNN’s “Heroes” with Christina Aguilera
  • Arranged music for Russell Watson and Myleene Klass

According to the bio on his website:

Chris Walden has scored more than 40 feature and TV films, and written arrangements for artists including Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Faith Hill, Aretha Franklin, David Foster, Paul Anka, Sheryl Crow, Christopher Cross, and orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Philharmonic, Boston Pops, and many more. He has orchestrated for Barbra Streisand, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole.

Since 1999, Chris has been leading his own big band which includes the top studio musicians based in Los Angeles.  He has recorded four albums with the Chris Walden Big Band on Origin Records.

Asked if he misses his life in Germany, Chris said:

“There are a lot things that I like about the American life-style, but there are also many things that I miss from Germany. I can’t possibly list all the things that come to my mind, but I’ve always liked the openness and tolerance of people in the US. I’ve always had a problem with the sometimes narrow-minded mentality of Germans. On the other hand I’ve been annoyed with the sometimes short attention span and superficialness of Americans and I value the deep friendship I have with some of my old German friends.”

It sounds like Clay Aiken was fortunate to work with Chris Walden.  He is a wonderful composer and arranger who seems to be able to find the strengths of each of his artists and brings that strength to the forefront.  Clay’s new album is going to be wonderful!

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain clayaiken.com.

Comments

  1. Yes!!! Clay's new album is going to be wonderful, if the PBS taping is any indication. Clay does surround himself with talented people and that's what he deserves–the best–because he is the best.

    So excited about that new CD–just counting the days.

  2. He did a fantastic job on the opening number for Queen Latifa at the People's Choice Awards. The music and arrangements Clay had last Friday night breathed new life into old standards. Between Clay's voice and the music, Tried and True is going to be a great album.

  3. What an amazing resume this man has. He seems to be the "in" person for hits. If you combine his talent with Clay's fabulous voice, the album will be awesome!!

    Thanks for all the info. I love that I learn something when I visit here.

  4. He is very lucky to have worked with Chris Walden. He has worked with many very successful people. I cannot wait to get Clay's new cd "Tried and True." I think it will knock the socks of everyone.

  5. I am so glad to hear Mr. Walden is involved with this cd. It's going to be very important for these standards on Tried and True to sound fresh. It sounds like he's the man to make it happen and from what I hear with the arrangements at the concert, it was a success! Clay's voice with great music arrangements equals perfection! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the info on Chris Walden. A lot of us, namely ME, would be totally clueless about this stuff if we didn't have such a valuable source of information without having to go searching for it. Thank you for being our eyes and ears and keeping us apprised of these most important and informative details. I'm still in the Aiken fog and am counting the days until the CD drops so I can remember what I think I may have heard in Raleigh!

    It was great meeting you and I hope that our paths cross again in the not-too-distant future. Anyone for a do over? 🙂 Thanks again.

  7. Thanks for all the info on Chris Walden. Clay Aiken is fortunate to work with Chris, and Chris is fortunate to work with Clay. IMO they would be the dream team!

  8. This man sounds like he is a good fit to Clay's style of music. I do remember hearing Jennifer Hudson singing the SSB. I also remember David Foster's PBS special..

    I do want to take a moment to say thank you for providing info to us. It is great that I can come to one place and get some interesting information on Clay and his talented team.

    Is it June 1st yet??

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