"Few Bay Area musicians have done more to push fusion in creative directions in recent decades than Schnalle"
Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mecury News October 2015

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"Wally Schnalle fuses head and heart like few other musicians working today - making the abstract accessible, the complex communal, and delivering deep, soulful grooves with an effortlessness that belies their often fiercely technical foundations" Dave Constantin, DRUM! Magazine
"Fierce modern jazz chops.." Adam Budofsky , Modern Drummer
Lightning fast licks, sleight-of-hand stickwork or pummeling power displays—Wally Schnalle is capable of doing all those things and more. What sets him apart from the pack, however, is his unerring musicality, his ability to make his drums speak in multiple tongues—fluently. Most importantly, he is committed to musical growth.” Nicky Baxter, The Metro, San Jose, California
“Schnalle grooves with grit and grace.....Schnalle’s quartet is awesome.” Chuck Berg ,JazzTimes
“this is major league jazz played with verve, dedication and a whole lot of talent.” Dick Bogle, The Skanner, Seattle/Portland
“Sultry and seductive, these percussion based tunes are sly and tricky.” Babysue, Atlanta
“Schnalle is a serious force on drums. He plays with terrific energy and the kind of controlled abandon needed to propel his hard- driving compositions.” Joel Roberts AllAboutJazz.com
“Schnalle is a powerful drummer who can get in tight behind a soloist and enhance without getting in the way.”Robert Tate, JazzNow
“One of the few drummers that can drive around all sides of the beat.” The Davis Enterprise, Davis, California 

I endorse and use: Zildjian Cymbals, Pearl Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Earthwork Microphones

Idiot Fish Critics 

"Ever wonder what would have happened if Josef Zawinul had teamed with  Pat Metheny instead of Wayne Shorter to form Weather Report? I think it would sound a lot like this hot album by drummer Wally Schnalle."
                        Greorge Harris, JazzWeekly
“Idiot Fish” is a dramatic assault on the outposts of fusion who many considered abandoned. In fact, fusion remains alive and kicking on this album with Schnalle and company kicking it hard. Schnalle knows how to write it and this band most assuredly knows how to play it.”
                        Travis Rogers, JazzTimes
“Wally Schnalle has created a new level of sound for the next generation, stunning!”
                        Brent Black, criticaljazz.com
“About as avant garde and creative as jazz gets”
                        Grady Harp, Amazon.com

Previous events

Idiot Fish 4tet

(PST, UTC-08) (PST, UTC-08)

Mama Kim, 374 S First Street, San Jose

Idiot Fish 4tet starts the year off with a performance at Mama Kin. We've been recording new music and are excited to share the new tunes live "pre-release" with you. ALL AGES

Wally Schnalle Drums Paul Hanson Bassoon Hristo Vitchev Guitar Dan Robbins Bass

Wally Schnalle And Idiot Fish 4tet

Mama Kim, 374 S First Street, San Jose

Our last gig was 3/13/20 right before Covid shut down the world. I am so excited that we are finally back and playing at MAMA KIN (the now defunct Cafe Stritch) We'll be playing some old IDIOT FISH tunes as well as some new stuff I've composed. I hope to see you there!!! Paul Hanson - Bassoon Hristo Vitchev - Guitar Dan Robbins - Bass Wally Schnalle - Drums

SJZ Collective 2019 Asia Tour

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9/20 Motion Blue Yokohama, Japan--- 9/22 2019 Hong Kong International Jazz Fest--- 9/24 DDC Club, Beijing, China--- 9/25 JZ Club Shanghai, China--- 9/27 JZ Club Gunangzhou, China--- 9/28 Sappho Live Taipai, Taiwan--- 9/29 Blue Note Taipei, Taiwan

SJZ Collective

Art Boutiki, 44 Race Street, San Jose CA

The SJZ Collective features some of the best South Bay jazz musicians playing arrangements by all the members. Currently they are performing classic material from Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Under the direction of Wally Schnalle they've became jazz ambassadors, representing our jazz community here and abroad.

Last year they played to over ten thousand people in Taiwan. This year they’ve been invited by Japan, China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan to perform in September. And this concert at Art Bioutiki is a fund raising event to help pay for the myriad of expensing taking a sextet on the road. Please come out and support jazz, live music and spreading the word.

Wally Schnalle - Drums Hristo Vitchev - Guitar Brian Ho - Organ Saul Sierra - Bass John Worley Jr - Trumpet Oscar Pangalinon - Sax

Wally Schnalle Quartet Featuring Paul Hanson

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

End your Saturday at Summer Fest with us at Cafe Stritch!! Im really excited about this special band featuring the amazing Paul Hanson on Basson, Hristo Vitchev on guitar, Dan Robbins on bass and of course me on drums. These guys are all amazing musicians but I am really lucky to have Paul onboard for this. Lately he has been pretty busy on the road playing with drum virtuosos Billy Cobham so we are lucky to have him join us for this special jazz beyond midnight performance at SJZ Summer Fest. Here's a bit about Paul.... From his roots as an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist- Paul has sought to expand the lexicon of the bassoon while creating a unique musical voice. As a jazz/fusion bassoonist: Paul has recorded and/or performed with Billy Cobham's Crosswinds Project (whom Paul currently tours with) Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Miguel Zenon, SF Jazz, Peter Erskine, with 6-string bassist in the group OoN, Billy Childs, Harmonica virtuoso Gregorie Maret, Billy Higgins, David Binney, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Patrice Rushen, Alex Acuna, Dennis Chambers, Abraham Laboriel, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Weirʼs RATDOG, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Afro/Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, as jazz soloist with the Oakland Eastbay Symphony Orchestra, as classical soloist with the Napa Symphony Orchestra (non-improvising) and many more. As a sax player-Paul has recorded and/or performed with Eddie Money (tenor sax soloist on the 1985 hit song “Take Me Home Tonight”), Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Tower of Power, Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Randy Jackson, What It Is, Omar Sosa, dobroist Rob Ickes, sessions for Lucas Arts Electronic Games, Sony Music and many more. In 2008 Paul was invited to create his own role as electric improvising bassoonist in Cirque Du Soleilʼs ZED-a resident show at Tokyo Disney Resort. This unique creation performed 380 shows a year from 2008-2011. Rarely if ever has the bassoon been utilized in such a fashion-to this day Cirque Du Soleil auditions bassoonists for the sole purpose of appearing on ZED in a role Paul helped develop and create. Paul has traveled throughout Europe, Japan and the States. He has appeared as a bassoonist at Carnegie Hall, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Leverkuzen Festival, the INTERLINK festival in Japan, the California Edge Festival 2005 and at the 1999 NAMM show in Nashville. Paul Hanson appears on Bela Fleck and the Flecktones album OUTBOUND which won a Grammy for best contemporary jazz recording of 2000. Paul has a BM in Bassoon Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.


SJZ Collective Taiwan Tour

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Taichung Jazz Fest and more

Wally Schnalle/Frank Martin

Cafe Pink House, Saratoga, CA

Special evening with Frank Martin Keys and Wally Schnalle Drums and electronics. BIG FUN


Eugenie Jones

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest