From 1977 to 1981, Bobby Watson
was a student at the "University of Blakey," otherwise known as the The Jazz Messengers
led by drummer Art Blakey
. After "graduation," Watson went on to become an acclaimed alto saxophonist, sought out by instrumentalist and vocalists alike while he led his own band, Horizon. Now, in addition to a fulltime touring schedule, Watson is the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance.
When Watson taught a jazz workshop at Old Dominion University, students were treated to Watson's laidback way of offering over 43 years of wit and wisdom. The next night, appearing before a sold-out audience at the Attucks Jazz Club
with the John Toomey
Trio, Watson shared that same wit and wisdom in two 60-minute sets featuring his own compositions and well-known standards. The audience was eager to hear him talk about his experiences in the Blakey band, but they really came to hear a legend play.
Here are some photos from that great night!