MIKE WALBRIDGE has worked with many bands countrywide both on tuba and cornet. He also leads his own band, The Chicago Footwarmers Hot Dance Orchestra, a large group also dedicated to hot dance and swing music of the late 20s and 30s. Mike first performed with the “Dogs” in 1958 at Purdue and is still having fun with those guys today.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Mike, as a young boy, found excitement in his father’s plentiful classic jazz recordings. In pursuit of a newfound interest in the trumpet, he signed with his high school band. There he was persuaded by the band director to take up the sousaphone and leave the trumpet behind, for which we are all grateful. Upon graduation from high school, Mike pursued jazz as a profession. We all know that you can’t rely on jazz to provide regular meals, so he filled the non-musical time with being a lab technician.

His long tenure as an outstanding tuba player has put him on many bands’ short lists when it comes to needing a bass player. His rock solid approach, hot soloing ability, quick ear and classic early jazz style have earned him the title “King of the Tuba.” He is constantly called out of state to play festivals on both coasts.

Mike has a vast collection of records and is the WEJB’s walking encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to recording dates, labels, bands and musicians. His love and understanding of the music is a valuable asset to the WEJB.