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Obituary: Walter 'Wally' Bussey

Birkbeck alumnus and jazz musician

Born in London in 1931, jazz musician and teacher Walter Bussey thrilled audiences with his performances on the saxophone, clarinet and flute. Having left school at 16, he went to New York after his National Service to study with Lennie Tristano, the celebrated blind jazz pianist, before returning to London to continue his musical career. Visiting Spain in 1958, he developed a passion for all things Spanish. In 1969 he gained a BA Spanish from Birkbeck and later moved to Gravesend, Kent, teaching at a grammar school in Northfleet for 15 years. In 1975 he was awarded a PhD on Spanish theatre from Queen Mary, London.

Walter and his wife Jenny later moved to Spain to take early retirement and he enthusiastically continued playing music, teaching, travelling, and mastering Valenciano. Jenny and Walter's family wish to thank their friends who donated generously to a collection of £470 to Birkbeck's Alumni Fund, which Walter donated to during his life, to help students in financial difficulty.

Jenny says: "Wally's three years at Birkbeck as a mature student changed his life completely and he wanted to help others achieve the same sort of benefit."