FRIDAY | APRIL 26, 2019 | 8:00PM | EASTVOLD AUDITORIUM - KAREN HILLE PHILLIPS CENTER @ PLU
Thanks to a generous endowment established by PLU alumnus Dr. Richard Weathermon ’50, the Dick and Helen Weathermon Joyful Noise Endowment for jazz studies created an annual two-day artist-in-residence program. Each year, this endowment allows us to bring a renowned jazz artist to campus to perform with the University Jazz Ensemble and a select local high school jazz band, to lead rehearsals and public master classes, and participate in other educational and performance activities. Last year the University Jazz Ensemble featured alto saxophonist Vincent Herring.
This year we present saxophonist Ernie Watts, a two time Grammy winner and jazz icon who plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophone. It has often been said that Mr. Watts is one of the most versatile and prolific saxophone players in music. Watts has been featured on over 500 recordings by artists ranging from Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa, always exhibiting his unforgettable trademark sound. In 2014, Watts received the prestigious Frankfurt Music Prize given by the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Watts was “selected for his strikingly melodic saxophone style and his original tone language, with which he has already enriched several generations of musicians.” Mr. Watts has toured with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West and the Rolling Stones. He is featured on the albums of Frank Zappa, Glenn Frey, on various Motown albums and movie soundtracks. He played with Doc Severinsen on the Tonight Show for twenty years. He gives back to the music by conducting clinics and masterclasses, both on the student and professional level. Watts describes his ongoing journey like this, “I see music as the common bond having potential to bring all people together in peace and harmony…I believe that music is God singing through us, an energy to be used for good.”