Tonight, we’ll celebrate his birthday and his life in jazz, as Walter takes to the stage by himself for the first half of the evening to play some music and tell stories. In the second half, he’ll lead a trio with Bennie Watson on piano and Vince Lateano on drums, with special guests. Superlative musicians all!
Walter himself is a marvelous and seasoned musician, a singer, a raconteur, a fascinating spinner of tales.
Walter grew up in Watts, where his father was a preacher and where he couldnâ€™t imagine not singingâ€“ which he loves, though itâ€™s as a bassist that heâ€™s best known.
He picked up the bass while serving in the military in the 1960s, and never really looked back. Once back in Los Angeles, he took lessons from legendary bass players of two generations, Al McKibbon and Leroy Vinnegar, and played with Horace Tapscott, Arthur Blythe, Bobby Hutcherson and others â€” eventually making his way up to San Francisco, where he was heard regularly for at least two decades at Yoshiâ€™s, Jazz at Pearlâ€™s, Enrico’s, the nearby Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society and other jazz spots.
Walter’s tenure as a top bass player here was interrupted ten or twelve years ago, when the high cost of living encouraged him and his wife to try a move to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Â Ultimately, the Bay Area drew him back and for the past year we’ve enjoyed the pleasure of his resurgence — playing, singing, making waves on the jazz scene stronger than ever. Now, we celebrate Walter, and his 75 years.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
[Read More ]
Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site