5 July 1955, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA. Watson began playing piano as a small child but first played rock in various parts of his home state. He then studied classical music at Oberlin College, Ohio, before moving to France. There, he worked in various contexts, including classical, jazz, and as an accompanist with a dance troupe. For the next few years he played in France, the USA and Central America, along the way establishing what would become a long-term musical relationship with John Lindberg. Although he has continued to play in his homeland, he gradually extended his roots in France. Watson has built his career in a manner that suggests much greater affinity with the classical tradition of European music than that in which jazz is rooted. Classically trained, he has found ways to bridge the gap between written and improvised music, bringing to his work a strong sense of structure while retaining glimpses of spontaneity.