Ken Watters

Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Born: July 6, 1964    

Ken Watters

Lately, trumpeter Ken Watters is moving in a different direction than anyone (even Ken) expected... His newest project is called RIYEL (pronounced ree- YELL / meaning “alleyway,” or “backstreet” in Haitian Kreyol) & features, among others, Haitian bassist extraordinaire YVES ABEL (Tabou Combo, Beethove Obas, Emeline Michel, etc), trombonist ANDRE ATKINS (Aretha Franklin, Steve Coleman, Soulive, etc) & a supporting cast of some of Haiti's finest & most creative musicians on the world music scene... The octet's debut CD will be released this spring on Summit Records & will be distributed worldwide, including extensively throughout the French Caribbean. RIYEL has already created such a “buzz” that the band has received numerous invitations to perform at some of the better-known jazz festivals throughout the Caribbean. Recently, three of RIYEL's new songs were featured on Radio Metropole's Saturday Morning Jazz Show in Port-au- Prince, Haiti. Before the first track was over, the show's host reported that a new record had been set for in-studio call-ins inquiring about the band... Hopefully, this is a harbinger of things to come — who knows? Regardless, the music performed by RIYEL is Haitian-inspired, real, improvised, challenging & original JAZZ. This is not a group that calls itself a jazz group simply because there is no singer — on the contrary, this is a jazz group because the ensemble performs jazz, pure & simple. With a strong Haitian (at times Voodoo-flavored) twist......
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”The music performed by Ken & Harry Watters is immediately accessible & listenable — the effect is stunning” - C. Michael Bailey / All About Jazz

”Brothers Ken & Harry Watters are a class act. Superb musicianship, sparkling treatments of Twentieth Century classics, and exceptional original compositions. Their recordings are splendid & extremely gratifying — highly recommended.” -

“Ken Watters is without a doubt one of the finest trumpet and flugelhorn performers in jazz today as well as one of the leading composers. Each solo performance is both impeccable and full of energy.” - The Jazz Review

”Harry Watters is a great young trombonist with breathtaking technical assurance.” - The Washington Post

”The Watters Brothers have scored my 'Rave of the Year' twice with their 'Brothers' & 'Brothers II' CDs. Trumpeter Ken's bebop sensibilities combined with trombonist Harry's more traditional leanings make for a warm, captivating brand of jazz that brings back fond memories and makes new ones.” - The Jazz News (Bay Area California)

“Awe-inspiring headline performance!” - Steve Heckler / Chairman - Hot Summer Jazz Festival (Minneapolis, MN)

”It's all there: Hard Bop, Traditional, & Contemporary. Beautiful.” - Barnes & Noble

”Ken & Harry Watters are brothers in the best sense of the word. Their CDs & live performances establish the Watters brothers as talents to watch!” - PreAmp Music & Reviews

”The 'Brothers' CDs are impressive, spirited & well performed by two talented voices in jazz. And who says there's no jazz from Alabama?” - Jazz Online

”In Ken is a soloist of major ability. His rich, burnished warmth on the trumpet & flugelhorn, not to mention the economy of his phrasing & spare strength of his musical ideas, remind one of Davis & Art Farmer.” - The Buffalo News

”The jazz world has no shortage of brother acts — Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, Nat & Cannonball, three Heaths, those Marsalis guys, and now we have the Watters brothers. Both of the brothers are technically accomplished musicians, and the jazz family has a welcome new addition in Ken & Harry Watters.” - Glenn Astarita / All About Jazz / Downbeat Magazine

”Both hornmen are technically assured with admirable command of their instruments. They seem to be having serious fun — listeners are encouraged to join is, at least vicariously.” - Cadence Magazine

”Watters' subtle trombone works wonderfully well, making you really hear the instrument for the first time in a long time...” - OffBeat Magazine (New Orleans)

”Right on the money — artistic approaches, rather than crass commercialism. The excellent 'Brothers' recordings feature some of today's finest young horn players (Ken & Harry Watters) in a variety of moods & playing styles.” - Jazz Views (Adelaide, Australia)

”Incredible display of contemporary mainstream jazz!” - Jazz Friends Review

”The Watters brothers are the real deal! Delightful!” - Trumpet Players' International Network (TPIN)

”Excellent playing (and writing) from two very talented brothers!” - Mike Metheny / Trumpeter

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    Watters / Felts Project

    Summit Records

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Hoschton, GA

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Featured recording “Watters / Felts Project”

Watters / Felts Project

Summit Records (2014)
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