Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson continues to pay tribute to his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri with his latest CD “Gates Bar-B-Que Suite.” Watson moved back to his hometown almost 10 years ago where he’s currently Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Kansas City is where Bobby was exposed to the rich heritage of jazz music and the food that makes up this great city.

A graduate of the University of Miami, Bobby’s first professional gig was with the legendary bop-master Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, where he played for four years. He eventually became his musical director. After his stint with Blakey, he played with a wide range of both jazz, rock, and R & B musicians from Chaka Khan to Joe Williams to Louis Hayes.

During the 1980’s Watson’s love for both bop and the sax led him to form many groups: Horizon, The High Court of Swing, The Tailor Made Big Band, and the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet.

It was with Horizon where he took elements of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and lead a group of up-and-coming artists that fused bop and soul. Throughout the years many of the successful members of Horizon included: Roy Hargrove, Joey Calderazzo, Benny Green, John Hicks, and Marvin Smith. This year’s 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival included the reunion of Horizon featuring Victor Lewis(drums), Terell Stafford(trumpet), Edward Simon(piano), and Essiet Essiet(bass).

To buy a copy of Bobby’s latest disc “Gates Bar-B-Que Suite” or to check out his upcoming tour dates visit him on the web at bobbywatson.com.

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