Contagious Band Leader: Walter Norris

Contagious Band Leader Walter Norris

Born in Philadelphia, Walter Norris has been singing and involved with music from a young age. After seeing James Brown perform on TV for the first time at age 7, he was instantly infected with the music bug. Walter started singing with the Philadelphia boys choir and then began to develop his instrumental skills around age 8, starting with the drums, and moving onto guitar, bass, and then beginning on saxophone and clarinet. Walter joined his first band at age 12 and then started his own band at age 15; a funk group called the Deliverance Funk Band who was a 10-piece original funk unit. There he was the original drummer but then moved to saxophone and vocals. A few years later, he joined a jazz group called Phase, and then spent a year honing his jazz chops. In 1979, after the group broke up, Walter returned to his funk roots with Deliverance and landed a record deal.

After signing a recording contract in 1979 with TEC (Total Entertainment Concepts) Records, Walter began performing with Philly’s Direct Current, who had the hit song “Everybody Here Tonight Must Party”. While at the label, he was part of a unit that also performed with Certified Gold and Jeanne Carne. After leaving the record company in 1981, Walter performed with various Philly groups while maintaining his own band; the Deliverance Funk Band. After his group broke up in the late 90’s, Walter spent five years writing his own music, eventually developing a catalog of songs titled “Music of My Mind”, where he performed all of the instruments and vocals. Walter picked up his horn again in 2003 and began working with various local bands in the Philly area, including local acts such as The Delfonics and Intruders. In 2005, Walter joined Contagious as the sax player and assumed the vocalist role when the lead male singer left the group.

The Contagious band was formed on the idea to have a great party. Walter really enjoys entertaining and conveys that through his stage performance. Contagious is about fun, and they truly enjoy what they do. With each performance they try to infect the audience with the same sense of fun and enjoyment that they have!