As a preview of its 2002-03 “Year of the Drum” season, Jazz at Lincoln
Center will welcome one of the most dynamic drummers today, JEFF “TAIN”
WATTS, to lead three nights of percussion-driven jazz on April 18, 19, & 20,
2002 at 8pm in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. The concert is entitled
“Citizen Tain,” which is both a song written by longtime bandmate Branford
Marsalis and the title of his 1999 major label debut recording.
Watts, who has been the drummer for Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis
(including the latter’s stint at “The Tonight Show”), will be joined by
guitarist PAUL BOLLENBECK, pianist DAVID BUDWAY, bassist JOHN BENITEZ, and a
group of guest percussionists. Together, they will explore a wide range of
grooves and the fascinating interplay of percussion in jazz.
Tickets at $45 are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, by
calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or via www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.
This concert is part of the first annual Jazz Appreciation Month in
April 2002, as designated by the Smithsonian National Museum of American
History’s Behring Center.
Jeff “Tain” Watts was born on January 20, 1960, in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, the birthplace of iconic drummers Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey.
He took up the snare drum in fourth grade and played classical music in the
school system until the tenth grade, when his father bought him his first
drum set. Watts majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne
University, where he was primarily a timpanist, and continued to play drums
at small gigs and informal sessions. After two years he moved to Boston and
enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where he pursued his studies in the
company of talented young musicians like Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks,
Donald Harrison, and Wallace Roney. He performed with the Wynton Marsalis
Quintet from 1981 until 1988. After dates with George Benson, Harry Connick
Jr., and McCoy Tyner, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kenny
Kirkland in 1989, building a close association that continued until the
pianist passed on in November 1998. When NBC’s “The Tonight Show” hired
Marsalis as musical director in 1992, the saxophonist brought his band to
Los Angeles. While Watts and Kirkland were still with “The Tonight Show,”
alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett hired them to play for a week at the club
Catalina’s; they joined Garrett’s band after returning to New York in 1995.
In addition, Watts worked regularly with Panamanian piano master Danilo
Perez in 1995-96. Since 1997, he has toured extensively with tenor
saxophonist Michael Brecker, and performed with artists like Ravi Coltrane,
Brian Lynch, Ron Affif and Joey Calderazzo. He made his major-label debut
as a leader in 1999 with Citizen Tain.
Tue Apr 2 2002 (7:31:54 PM)