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Musician to share story, music at prayer breakfast
Professional percussionist Walter Santos was having a great time touring with the famous jazz and rock musicians, but he was “dying on the inside.”
An addiction to heroin nearly got him locked into a life prison sentence, and after a roller-coaster ride of relapsing, rehab visits and some encouragement from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon Dion Dimucci of Dion and The Belmonts, he turned his life around.
He is now a traveling around the world with his wife, Andrea, sharing the good news he found in Jesus Christ that helped him to break free from his addiction that was steering him toward the direction of an early grave.
This year's Yuma Area Prayer Breakfast will feature Santos as a keynote speaker, and he will also be performing some of his gospel doo-wop music.
By telling his story of recovery, he hopes to inspire people to change their ways, as he is also now a drug and alcohol counselor through Calvary Ranch in Lakeside, Calif.
“I'm looking forward to coming to the great city of Yuma to share my story of hope and some great gospel doo-wop. So come out and invite a friend for a blessing.”
Jackie Van with the Yuma Area Prayer Breakfast said the yearly gathering generally attracts more than 800 people. She added she hopes that this year's message will especially touch the young people in attendance as they embark onto their journey of adulthood.
Van noted that the purpose of the event is ultimately to demonstrate the power of prayer through personal testimony.
The 21st annual breakfast, catered by the Yuma Civic Center, will be held at 6 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Yuma Civic Center.
The program will start off with the posting of the colors by a U.S. Marine Corps color guard and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by introduction of clergy members, dignitaries and guests.
Tickets at $20 each or $160 for a table of eight are available by calling Mary Ellerman at 210-7624.
Tickets will also be available at the door. Visit www.yumaareaprayerbreakfast.com to reserve a table or to learn more about Santos and his music.
Growing up in the late 1950s, Santos learned percussion and got his first gig in the music business playing at Carnegie Hall on the same bill as The Jazz Crusaders and George Benson.
Santos said he was a member of a band called Fandango that made five albums on RCA Records, and played with other renowned jazz musicians such as Weather Report, Wayne Shorter, Charles Earland, Stanley Turrentine and Les McCann and many others.
Later, his talents as a percussionist allowed him to play along with such famous bands as Charlie Daniels, Moby Grape, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws and Pure Prairie League.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.