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.
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