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!
Paul, it was incredible! The wind sucked but whatever. The band was freaking awesome. People are still talking about them. I have on my to-do list to write reviews on every single outlet because it was unreal!!!
The Contagious Party Band out of BVTLive was INCREDIBLE. After seeing them perform a showcase there was no question we needed them for our wedding reception. Walt is so laid back it helps ease the stress of wedding planning, and Paul is available at every turn to coordinate. Our dance floor was packed all night long. People have not stopped commenting how much fun our wedding was, and I owe it in part to having such an amazing band. My father wanted to play guitar during our first dance, and the band was completely open to it - they even invited him to a rehearsal so they could work it all out. They have a great grasp on all genres of music, old and new - and I am still just so thrilled at how well it worked out!
- Lisa (Bride)
Just wanted to thank the entire Contagious Band for an amazing night last night at the FPS Beach Ball Gala! You kept the guests entertained and engaged the entire night! A great band takes an amazing event to the next level, and no doubt you did that last night! Kudos to all of you! Thank you for helping FPS change the lives of the families we help!
Take care and look forward to you joining us at the 2017 Gala!!
- Alisa Tammaro - Community Outreach & Events Coordinator