Music Memory – Walter Gamauf

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the “Music For Memory Project”: a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from JAZZ.FM91 listener Walter Gamauf.

“As a child growing up in wartime Austria, when listening to jazz was forbidden, I was used to the tunes of Mozart and Strauss, which we played on our record player.

Amongst our classical collection I discovered a different sound, a different rhythm, a happy sound. Ella Fitzgerald “A tisket a tasket”. I instantly became a jazz fan.

Fast-forward to my emigration to Canada in the 50’s. The year was 1957. I was at the CNE, excited for the performer, a jazz legend, to take the stage. I just happened to sit next to a man who claimed to know this musical idol we were just about to see. I didn’t believe the man until at intermission I was introduced to the best horn player in the world, who had a voice that doesn’t sing but lives the song, Satchmo.

So my fondest musical memories involve a couple of greats Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.”