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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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CD/LP/Track Review
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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

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Primary Instrument



Hoschton, GA

Clinic/Workshop Information

"Jazz Musicians' Protocol" (General guide, based on personal experience, to the "ins & outs" of making the transition from student, amatuer or part-time jazz player to full-time professional musician.)

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Watters / Felts Project
Watters / Felts...
Summit Records



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