Julius Watkins was an American jazz musician, and one of the first jazz French horn players. He won the Down Beat critics poll in 1960 and 1961 for miscellaneous instrument with French horn named as the instrument.
Watkins was born in Detroit, Michigan. He started playing French horn when he was nine years old, having played the trumpet, the recognized jazz instrument, for the Ernie Fields Orchestra in the mid-1940s. By the late 1940s, however, he had played some French horn solos on Kenny Clarke and Babs Gonzales' records. After moving to New York City, Watkins studied for three years at the Manhattan School of Music. He started appearing in small-group jazz sessions, including two led by Thelonious Monk, featuring on Friday the 13th on the album Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (1954).