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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Bobby Watson


BOBBY WATSON ( saxophonist, composer, producer educator, bandleader) was born August 23, 1953 in Lawrence, Kansas. A graduate of the University of Miami’s jazz program, alongside Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius, the post bop altoist apprenticed with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1977 -81, becoming its musical director and also a founding member of the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. A sought after sideman Watson has worked with Max Roach, Louis Hayes, Branford Marsalis, Sam Rivers, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves and Wynton Marsalis among others. Later he created Horizon, a quintet fashioned on the Jazz Messengers with a modern take, and considered one of the foremost small groups of the mid 80’s to 90’s. He is currently director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.