Jeff "Tain" Watts

Decades: 1990s 2000s


20 January 1960, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts began playing drums as a small child, studying classical forms through school and at Duquesne University of Pittsburgh where he was the timpanist in the youth orchestra. He listened to other musical forms, including that played by James Brown, Earth, Wind And Fire, and some jazz rock fusion. After graduating from Duquesne he wanted to continue his studies at the New England Conservatory but went instead to the Berklee College Of Music, intending to continue studying classical percussion privately. However, at Berklee, where he met Branford Marsalis, he became involved with fusion and the possibilities of a career in something other than classical music began to seem possible. In 1981 he relocated to New York to play with Wynton Marsalis on a regular basis, appearing with him on record, through most of the decade before joining Branford Marsalis’ band in 1989. He also recorded with this...

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