Collin Walcott was one of the first sitar players to play jazz. As a member of Oregon, Walcott's flexibility, interest in different cultures, and ability to play not only sitar but tabla and other percussion instruments made him a very valuable musician. Early on, he studied violin for two years, and played both snare drum and tympani in school. Walcott also studied percussion at Indiana University, and took sitar and tabla lessons with Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha, respectively. After stints with Tony Scott (1967-1969) and Tim Hardin, he became a member of the Paul Winter Consort in 1970. Walcott left the group with three other musicians (Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, and Glen Moore) in 1971 to form Oregon. In addition to recording and touring with Oregon, a unique folk-jazz group, Walcott recorded with Miles Davis in 1972, and was a member of Codona (a trio with Don Cherry and Nana Vasconcelos) that recorded for ECM. Tragically, Collin Walcott was killed in a traffic accident while on tour with Oregon in East Germany. He led three sessions for ECM and can be heard on the Codona and early Oregon recordings.
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