Walter Payton, bassist for the famous New Orleans based Preservation Hall Jazz Band, suffered a stroke on January 8, just before a gig in Washington D.C. The jazz band was set to perform with the Blind Boys of Alabama that night, when one of the band’s road crew members found Payton in his room. He has since been recovering in a D.C. hospital. According to the band’s creative director and fill-in bassist Ben Jaffe Payton will be okay. The stroke occurred in the left side of his brain “mainly affected his speech… His hands and feet are fine. He’s up and walking, and already started rehabilitation.”
The 67 year old Payton, who is expected to return to New Orleans sometime this week, has a life-time full of performing and recording credits, which include Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is” and Lee Dorsey’s “Working in a Coal Mine.” He is also the father of famed jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton.
We wish Payton a speedy recovery.