Walter Payton—an extremely influential New Orleans bassist and music educator—has passed away at the age of 68 on Thursday, October 28, after a long illness.
As an educator, he taught music in the New Orleans public school system for two and a half decades. As a musician, he toured the globe with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, and his own small groups. He also recorded enduring hits with greats like Lee Dorsey ("Working in a Coal Mine") and Aaron Neville.
Walter was the father of Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and he participated in his son's 2001 Louis Armstrong tribute album Dear Louis.
A public memorial and tribute will be hosted by Preservation Hall on Saturday, November 20 at 10:30 a.m. After a short service, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform a second line through the French Quarter, down St. Claude Ave., and past McDonough 15 where Walt taught music for many years.