Walter was a key player on the local jazz scene for decades before retiring from the music business a few years ago and moving out to Arkansas to escape the high cost of living in these parts. Â So we still count him as one of our own!
Walter grew up in Watts, where his father was a preacher and where he couldn’t imagine not singing– which he still does plenty, though it’s his work on bass for which he’s best regarded. Â He picked up the bass while serving in the military in the 1960s, and never really looked back. Â 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 plenty of others — eventually making his way up to San Francisco where he was heard regularly at Yoshi’s, Jazz at Pearl’s, Enricos, the nearby Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society and other jazz spots.
This trio date will be the third preview show for our Saturday night “jazz club” series, which will launch officially with twice-monthly shows in July and will continue on that basis from there on out. Â Grant Levin will direct the 2nd Saturday dates while Michael Parsons will direct the 4th Saturdays. Â Both Grant and Michael are top drawer young pianists on the local scene, and the series will make a case for the extremely high caliber jazz musicians the Bay Area can boast. Â (Just between you and me and the bedpost, in September we’re going to four Saturdays a month on this — with Smith Dobson V directing the 1st Saturdays and Heshima Mark Williams directing the 3rd Saturdays… when there are five Saturdays in a month, we’ll invite in a special guest. Â Can’t wait! Â Though we’ll have plenty of fun ’til then as it is!)
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...
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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