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Walter Beasley Ages Gracefully with 'Free Your Mind'

Each year, hundreds of aspiring musicians graduate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts, but few actually return there to work as a full-time professor. But did you know one such graduate also enjoys a reputation as one of today's best-selling saxophonists?

When Walter Beasley graduated from Berklee in 1983, his goal was to conquer the jazz world. But it wasn't long before the academic world called. Less than a year after getting his diploma, Beasley was back in the classroom, teaching.

Walter was only going to teach for two years before returning to his native California, but that changed when he began seeing the fruits of his labor.

"Once I saw musicians move an audience through the use of techniques I showed them, I became sold on the idea of teaching," he says.

While years of campus life have been good to Walter Beasley, his work in the recording studio continues to flourish.

He describes his latest album, Free Your Mind, as a reflection of getting older. On it, he pays tribute to various influences, including President Barack Obama on the song "Barack's Groove," to fellow jazzmen George Duke and Mark Ledford, and to his late aunt Minnie who he says introduced him to the music of sax great Grover Washington, Jr.

Finding the time to record a new album, teach and tour has never been a problem for Walter Beasley. He's also produced seven instructional videos, including one on vocal performance.

Beasley displays his own vocal skills on the track "Love Calls," featuring singer Lynne Fiddmont.