Famed New Orleans bassist Walter Payton Jr. passed away October 28 following a longtime illness. Payton, who is father to trumpeter Nicholas Payton, suffered a stroke early this year while on the road with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, with whom he had been working with since as early as 1965.
Besides his spectacular playing, the bassist touched lives through teaching music in New Orleans’ public schools for 25 years.
Payton made a living through music almost his whole life with a recording career that included playing on the Aaron Neville hit song “Tell It Like It Is” and Lee Dorsey’s “Working in a Coal Mine.” He doubled on upright and electric to suit any situation, but his real passion was performing live.
“I love being on the road,” he said in 2008. “I love it, love it, love it.”
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Walter Payton, Jr.