Pianist Trevor Watkis, is a multi-talented, internationally-known performer, arranger and composer, who studied at Berklee College of Music, in Boston.
Trevor has worked on television and on the big screen, most notably accompanying Natalie Cole and Elvis Costello in the film “DeLovely”, he has arranged music for radio, theatre, and has appeared in several television commercials.
Trevor’s long list of performing credits includes, playing with UK-based greats Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, as well as international icons, Billy Higgins, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Garrett, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, James Spaulding, and Betty Carter, among many others.
Straight Ahead…Ride For Tone! Trevor’s debut recording as a leader, was recorded in New York with some of the city’s finest musicians. He toured Europe as a member of Kenny Garrett’s quintet and is currently working on a new soloalbum which will be his follow-up to his aforementioned album.
Trevor has recently been touring with a international transatlantic project called Routes in Jazz – The Music of Dizzy Reece, which was put together by Trevor, featuring a great lineup of musicians the USA and the UK, to celebrate the musical legacy of the iconic Jamaican born trumpeter, Dizzy Reece. This group also feature trumpeter, Byron Wallen, tenor saxophonist, Ralph Moore, Dezron Douglas (bass) and Willie Jones III (drums). This exciting group, toured the UK, making a standout appearance at Ronnie Scotts, as well as making their US debut in New York, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s, Dizzy’s club. A studio recording of this great band, will be released later this year.
Byron Wallen (b. 1969) was raised in a musical family and as a child studied classical piano, euphonium, trumpet, flute and drums. In the mid 1980’s the trumpet became Wallen’s primary instrument of choice. Wallen’s first major work, Tarot Suite, (1994) was inspired by a love of mythology and symbolism, which reflected the archetypal journey of human life through an interdisciplinary pan-continental approach. Wallen’s study of cognitive psychology has aided his transition towards conceptualising music as a medium for healing. Wallen raises awareness and invokes change by unlocking boundaries through the nature and science of sound. Widely recognised as a seminal figure in Jazz, Wallen is an acclaimed writer and producer whose original scores have been commissioned by The London Science Museum; PRS For Music, The BBC, Jerwood Foundation, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Arts Council, FIFA and Sage Gateshead. He has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones. Wallen’s current PRS commission ‘Anthem for Woolwich’ forges new links between schools, venues, musicians and residents to strengthen the resilience and promote the cohesion of the community. Wallen has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award.