Bobby Watson

For other people with the same name, see Robert Watson (disambiguation).
Bobby Watson
Background information
Birth name Robert Michael Watson, Jr.
Born (1953-09-23)September 23, 1953
Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1970s–present
Labels Blue Note, Columbia, Palmetto
Associated acts Art Blakey, Curtis Lundy, Victor Lewis

Bobby Watson (born August 23, 1953, in Lawrence, Kansas) is an American saxophonist, composer, and educator.

Music career

Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended the University of Miami at the same time as Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and Bruce Hornsby. He graduated in 1975, moved to New York City, and became music director for the Jazz Messengers from 1977–1981. After leaving the band, he was productive as a session musician, recording with Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Max Roach, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter, and Carmen Lundy.

He formed the band Bobby Watson & Horizon with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, with whom he played throughout the 1980s and '90s.[1] In addition to his work as leader of Horizon, Watson led a group known as the High Court of Swing (a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges), the Tailor-Made Big Band (16 pieces), and is a founding member of the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, an all-horn, four-piece group with alto saxophonist Ed Jackson, tenor saxophonist Rich Rothenberg, and baritone saxophonist Jim Hartog. Watson also composed an original song for the soundtrack of the movie A Bronx Tale (1993).

A resident of New York for most of his professional life, Watson served as a member of the adjunct faculty and taught saxophone privately at William Paterson University from 1985 to 1986 and the Manhattan School of Music from 1996 to 1999.[1] He is also involved with the Thelonious Monk Institute's annual "Jazz in America" high school outreach program.

In 2000, he was approached to return to his native midwestern surroundings on the Kansas-Missouri border. Watson was selected as the first William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri, Distinguished Professorship in Jazz Studies.[2] The past fifteen years he has served as the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory of Music, although he still manages to balance concert engagements around the world with his teaching responsibilities. Watson's ensembles at UMKC have garnered several awards and national recognition.[3]


As leader

As sideman

With the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet

With Kamal Abdul-Alim

With Art Blakey

With Horizon

With John Hicks

With the Jazz Tribe

With Sam Rivers

With Superblue

With the Tailor Made Big Band


  1. 1 2 Skelly, Richard. "Bobby Watson: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  2. "People : Faculty Directory : Bobby Watson, Jr.". UMKC. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  3. Burnett, Chris (2003-10-02). "Bobby Watson's Kansas City Big Band: Part 1-2". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
  4. "Bobby Watson & Horizon | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  5. "Superblue - Superblue | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 November 2016.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.