Considered by fans and critics alike as being one of the music industry’s most influential artists, Walter Beasley is the acclaimed saxophonist, vocalist, educator, and entrepreneur of our time. Moving into the year 2000, he became known for not only being the highest selling full time faculty member ever, but also the only teacher, in history, to successfully grace the Billboard charts for four decades. Born in 1961 in the town of Brawley, and transitioning to El Centro, California, Beasley’s melodious roots were established as he was introduced to not only the African American sounds of R&B, Motown and Gospel , but also to Spanish culture and the vibes of Mariachi and Boleros; to name a few. “I learned that the language was beautiful” says Walter, and by the age of 13, he was not only playing, but singing in Spanish as well. Beasley attributes much of his appetite for jazz to Mr. Jimmie Cannon, who at the time had come off the road from playing with the late Count Basie, and settled in the area; taking time to mentor young ears. Beasley had opportunities to be a part of several bands; including Christian, R&B and Latin. However, it was at the age of 13 where his first band experience was as a part of the group “Los Elegantes”, which was “one of the most versatile bands I had ever played in”, says Beasley. Classically trained, Beasley says of his younger years, “It was really all about the music which not only helped me to stay out of trouble, but also so I could be the best I could possibly be; and to have the ability to see the rest of the world.” Beasley says, “by the time I left California, I can honestly say that I was prepared for everything that would happen to me on the east coast”.
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