Musician Walter Jr. makes his triumphant return to the stage at iMonelli Jazz Room. A true renaissance man, the acclaimed guitarist/singer/songwriter recently celebrated his 50th year as an impressive blues and jazz artist — all while holding high-level theological degrees and certifications. His extraordinary talent was recognized when he was named an Honorary Member of the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame.
Walter Jr.’s unique sounds come from his custom-designed Benedetto seven-string arch-top instrument. The additional, extra low string allows him to play moving bass lines along with chords and melodic riffs. Combined with his smoky, soulful vocals and original South Louisiana repertoire, Walter Jr.’s incredible fusion is both artistically unique and mesmerizing.
The Acadiana native has performed and recorded with renowned artists including Johnny Sandlin, Bonnie Bramlett, Sonny Landreth, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, members of the Allman Brothers, the Swampers and the Muscle Shoals Horns. Soon, Walter will appear in an upcoming documentary on close friend and songwriting mentor, Bobby Charles.
But to really understand this passionate artist, you must appreciate his spiritual side. Walter Jr. started playing guitar at age 16 while attending the Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette. After completing his undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Louisiana, he earned a master of pastoral studies degree from the Loyola Institute for Ministry. Today, he presents sacred concerts, labyrinth walks and contemplative services as a United Methodist certified lay minister, with professional certifications in Spiritual Formation and Direction.
In his studio, he teaches guitar as a soulful journey to pupils ranging from ages 7 to 70. Walter Jr.’s instructive essence comes alive in his published method book, “The Spirit of Musical Expression.” Currently, he is creating the second volume, “The Spirit of Musical Illumination.”
Join Walter Jr. every Friday at 8 p.m. in iMonelli Jazz Room for an intimate evening of fine dining and music, including a mix of jazz standards, The Great American Songbook, blues and original compositions from his seven albums.
For more information on Walter Jr., visit walterjr.com.