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Trevor Watts

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Biography of Trevor Watts

Trevor Watts

Trevor Watts is well known for his involvement with innovative music. In the 60's with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and his own Amalgam. He went on to develop the unique sounding 10 & 14 piece Moire Music Groups in the 80's. Also the groundbreaking Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra in the 80's and moving towards the Moire Music Drum Orchestra of the 90's (ECM 1440 "A Wider Embrace"). Then Watts formed the Celebration Band, which was made up of young musicians who originally went to his workshops and he formed the band around them. For the last four years he has concentrated on a duo with percussionist Jamie Harris, this has now come to an end (Jan 2008). Latest CD of the duo is "Ancestry" on Entropy(USA)ESR 016. Trevor has played most of his life outside the U.K. and has taken bands to India, Singapore Arts Festival, China, Mongolia, Burma, Sarawak, Malaysia, Sudan, Cameroon, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brasil, Greece, Turkey, Azores Islands, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Czech republic, Hungary, Poland and the rest of Europe. All under his own name!
His bands have performed at many major festivals like Monterey Jazz Fest, San Francisco Jazz Fest, Chicago World Music Fest, Seattle Jazz Festival, Dallas Museum of Art Summer series, Washington DC July 4th fest, Womad, Berlin Jazz Fest, Khartoum International Festival, Tampere Jazz Fest, Clusone Jazz Fest, Saalfelden Jazz Fest, Wangaratta Jazz Fest(Australia), New Zealand Festival of Arts, Glastonbury, San Sebastian Jazz Fest, Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec to name a few.
Trevor has initiated some very important collaborations.The biggest being with his 7 piece Drum Orchestra and 28 musicians/actors/dancers of the black tradition of the Barlovento region of Venezuela's Caribbean coast. Their group was called Teatro Negro de Barlovento and the combined group project went under the name "Una Sola Voz" taken from one of Trevor's Moire Music recordings "With One Voice". And they played concerts in Europe and S America in the early 90's.
He has also performed with Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy and Bobby Bradford who was the first trumpeter with Ornette Coleman. And from the UK Tubby Hayes, Phil Seaman & Stan Tracey from the Jazz World. He has also collaborated with Adama Drame, one of the finest Djembe players in the World, he is from Burkina Faso and Cyro Baptista the Brasilian percussionist who also plays with Wynton Marsalis & John Zorn amongst others.
More information can be seen on the following website; www.trevorwatts.whistlingmule.com
Here are some quotes from Howard Reich, critic of the Chicago Tribune regarding our duo performance at the Hothouse Club in Chicago last year.

"Watts aquitted himself as one of the most inventive reed improvisers this side of Roscoe Mitchell".

"Watts would be fascinating to hear if he played nothing more than C Major scales".

"Their work represented an ideal of duo playing, their dialogues conveyed tremendous energy while taking listeners into alluringly unfamiliar musical terrain".

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