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MUSICIAN Born:

Bobby Watson

A saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his "doctorate" – on the bandstand – as musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The group, created in 1955 by late legendary drummer who died in 1990, showcased a rotating cast of players, many who, like Watson, would go on to have substantial careers as bandleaders in their own right. The Jazz Messengers – frequently referred to as the "University of Blakey" – served as the ultimate "postgraduate school" for ambitious young players. After completing a four-year-plus Jazz Messengers tenure (1977-1981) that incorporated more than a dozen recordings – the most of any of the great Jazz Messengers, the gifted Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with a potpourri of notable artists – peers, elder statesmen and colleagues all — including, but not limited to: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George Coleman and a younger Branford Marsalis, celebrated multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (who joined the Jazz Messengers at least in part at the suggestion of Watson)

NEWS: EVENT

Logan Richardson’s Blues People Present: Searching For Charlie Parker In Partnership With Jazz Sister Cities To Celebrate Charlie Parker’s Centennial

Logan Richardson’s Blues People Present: Searching For Charlie Parker In Partnership With Jazz Sister Cities To Celebrate Charlie Parker’s Centennial

Searching for Charlie Parker is a year-long international performance to honor jny: Kansas City’s most celebrated Jazz artist during the year of his centennial. More than any other figure, Charlie Parker changed the sound of Jazz, and one hundred years later he continues to impact Jazz artists and the art-form today. Throughout 2020, in Searching for ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

My Dear Acquaintance - A Happy New Year

Read "My Dear Acquaintance - A Happy New Year" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

My last broadcast of the decade included several women-penned songs for New Years Eve, with new releases by Boogaloo Joe Jones, Kris Davis and Cathy Segal-Garcia, plus birthday shout outs to Cab Calloway, Una Mae Carlisle, Chris McNulty, Katie Bull, Annie Lennox and Janice Friedman, among others. Also remembering those artists lost in 2019 with a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ralph Peterson: Listen Up!

Read "Listen Up!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As on its debut album, I Remember Bu, drummer / educator Ralph Peterson's Gen-Next Big Band, composed for the most part of students at Boston's Berklee College of Music, pays tribute on Listen Up! to one of Peterson's mentors, the late great Art Blakey, known far and wide as the longtime leader and sparkplug of the ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Bobby Watson at the Attucks Jazz Club

Read "Bobby Watson at the Attucks Jazz Club" reviewed by Mark Robbins

From 1977 to 1981, Bobby Watson was a student at the “University of Blakey," otherwise known as 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 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Oscar Hernandez, Louis Armstrong, Ron Carter and More

Read "Oscar Hernandez, Louis Armstrong, Ron Carter and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

Kicking off the 623rd Episode of Neon Jazz is a towering figure in the world of Latin Jazz, Mr. Oscar Hernández who teamed up with Alma LIbre with a cut off his latest album Love the Moment. From there, we hear from some of the biggest names in jazz, from Dave Miller and his trio to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold O'Neal: Piano Cinema

Read "Piano Cinema" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Harold O' Neal è un pianista singolare. Quest'album in solo ripropone lo stile ricercato, intriso di riferimenti all'impressionismo francese e alle radici del jazz, che aveva presentato nel 2011 in Marvelous Fantasy. Durante gli studi al Berklee College e alla Manhattan School Of Music, la sua storia musicale è segnata dal sodalizio con Bobby Watson (2001) ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nice Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Nice Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Martin McFie

Nice Jazz Festival Théâtre de Verdure Nice, France July 16-20, 2019 Sebastien Vidal, the artistic director of the Nice Jazz Festival, expressed his goals for 2019 as diversity and inclusivity. The Festival takes place in the center of the city, near a tram line station. They welcomed forty ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy At The Blue LLama

Read "Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy At The Blue LLama" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Ralph Peterson & The Messsenger Legacy The Blue LLama Ann Arbor, Michigan May 25, 2019 Driving distance from both jny: Detroit and jny: Lansing, jny: Ann Arbor has always had a healthy music scene which is further bolstered by the presence of the University of Michigan. Live jazz was on the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy: Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door

Read "Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Recorded loud and live at the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT, Ralph Peterson—the last drummer to play side-by-side with the incomparable Art Blakey—delivers an unstoppable two-disc hyperdrive swing-fest celebration of his mentor with Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door. It's no deep state secret that Blakey, with his effortless ...


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