“… you gotta say (that) Little Walter invented the blues harmonica"
- No one had that sound before him. No one could make the thing cry like a baby and moan like a woman.
- No one could put pain into the harp and have it come out so pretty.
- No one understood that the harmonica — just as much as a trumpet, a trombone, or a saxophone — could have a voice that would drop you in your tracks, where all you could say was “Lord, have mercy.”
Buddy Guy, from “When I Left Home”
Little Walter scored 14 top ten hits between 1952 - 1958, and was the best blues artist produced by the post war Chicago blues movement. In 2008, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most recently, in 2013, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame at the first Annual Little Walter Festival in Alexandria, Louisiana.
To this day, to mention Little Walter's name brings a respect that is reserved for the world's geatest musicians.
Remembering Little Walter
Hi, My name is Marion Diaz Reacco. I'm that little girl in the picture with Little Walter. That was a long time ago and I have some memories of my father, especially when he used to put me up on a stool and make me listen to him practice his harmonica over and over again. I didn't get a lot of time to spend with him, and now that I am older I want to remember him in a different way.
The Little Walter Foundation is my way of getting to know my father. Through the Foundation, I'll be able to preserve my father's legacy as a major influence on the Chicago Blues. I hope to extend his techniques through music education using musicians who have embraced his style and use it to this day. With your help we can support other blues musicians to continue their creative efforts and extend the blues music genre itself.
There are so many stories that I don't know. So many of you have been touched by my father. Share in those stories, let me know how my father made an impact on your life! Your contribution to the Little Walter Foundation through your recollections, your photos, your stories and your financial support will truly be a gift to me, my Dad and Chicago Blues fans everywhere!
We hope that 2014 will be the "Year of Little Walter", there are many exciting things happening, from the nomination of "Remembering Little Walter" for a Grammy nomination to the Second Annual Little Walter Music Festival in Alexandria on May 24, 2014, new CD's with Little Walter songs, and Jason Brown's selection of "Juke" for his skating short program, it is clear that my Dad's effect is still going strong over almost 50 years later. Jason, I'll be watching you, I'll see you all the way to the top!
Love, Marion Diaz Reacco
And the man can skate too!
Jason Brown, Olympic bronze medalist, US silver medalist and a native of Highland Park, IL is set to make blues history with his selection of "Juke" for his short program in this year's competitions.
"it's a great piece of music," Coach Kori Ade said. "As with our choices for music in the past, again this year we have given Jason two very different genres to explore. This is how we push our skaters artisically."
"I've never done anything bluesy, so it's really fun to play with that and work on it," Brown said. (Ward) Rohene has made the choreography fit the music. It's one of those programs that I am going to be excited to perform and hope the audience gets into it."
Jason, you and Little Walter are one of a kind, and we'll be behind you all the way!
Join us at the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America in Hoffman Estates, IL (a suburb of Chicago) October 24-26, 2014. Skate America will feature three days of competition in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dance. The field of competitors is expected to include several athletes who competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Skate America will be the first of six events that make up the 2014 Grand Prix Series. Other stops include Skate Canada, Cup of China, Trophee Eric Bompard, Rostelecom Cup and NHK Trophy. Skaters earn points throughout the Grand Prix Series to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December. The 2014 Grand Prix Final will be held Dec. 11-14, in Barcelona, Spain.
Blues fans all over the world will be able to see live performances from Jason Brown and hear one of Little Walter's greatest hits in a celebration of creativity and world class excellence. (Source: US Figure Skating Association)
Jason will be performing his short program on Friday night, October 24th. We'll be there with a Little Walter Foundation booth on Sunday, so look for us! (Right: Jason's choreographer Rohene Ward with Marion Diaz Reacco.) Rohene told us that it is his lifelong loves of the blues that affected his choice of music, and he had been waiting for years to be able to integrate it into a skating performance.
Little Walter around the World
Chicago Blues is alive all over the world! Nacomi Tanaka and her band reached out to us with a Little Walter Tribute all the way from Kobe, Japan. (Very cool shirts, Nacomi) Check out Crazy Mixed Up World and Juke below, as well as their other Little Walter tunes on You Tube. Antonio Augusto Bittencourt from Brazil posted one on our Facebook page!
We are looking at ideas on how to interact with fans all over the world, so send us your ideas! A special thanks to Nacomi, her band members, Yasuo Ochiai, Hideki Takano, Akinori Fujinami, Sweet Harp Kimura (on the harp of course!) and also to Antonio!
The Little Walter Foundation supports the completion of Blue Midnight
A labor of love since 1991, Mike Fritz, a Boston based film maker and musician, embarked on a mission to document the Little Walter story for eternity. The film has been funded by Mike personally and partially funded with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
We learned that more help was needed to complete this production. The LWF is stepping up to the plate to make sure it gets done. As we put our together our strategy to accomplish this goal, you can help spread the word that the project is back on track!
Click to see the trailer from the Blue Midnight. In March 2008, parts of the unreleased film were used during Little Walter's induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
If you are interesting in supporting "Blue Midnight", use your credit card, or mail donations to the address below!