Friday, 24 May 2013 12:51

Ernie Watts Tickets

He’s played with everyone from Frank Zappa to The Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin. Ernie Watts is truly a living jazz treasure.

“When you play with a jazz group it's different every night. The tunes may be the same, but the performances are different and it evolves [because] you allow it to evolve and try different things.”

To win one of two doubles to the Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday June 1 as part of the Brisbane International Jazz Festival This competition has closed.
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Terms and Conditions:
1. Winner will be drawn at random at 12:01pm Wednesday 29th May at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners have been drawn]

2. Winner will be notified by e-mail. 

3. Entrants' e-mail address will not be usd for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:12

Ernie Watts: All That Jazz

It’s not every day you get the chance to chat with a legendary jazz player who’s on the other side of the planet.

Who am I talking about? The one and only Ernie Watts – a saxophonist continuing the legacy of pioneers like John Coltrane who has been touring the world for over 50 years.

“I started playing in grade seven,” Ernie explains. “I was 13 years old and I had no idea I wanted to play the saxophone. I was with a friend of mine and we went to the school music department, and my friend wanted a saxophone and I thought I'd try trombone.

“The school was all out of trombones, so the school teacher gave me a baritone saxophone – the big saxophone – mainly because I was tall for my age and the school teacher figured I would be able to carry it in marching bands.”

Six months later Ernie traded in his baritone instrument for an alto saxophone and his fate was sealed. To date Ernie has now appeared on over 500 recordings, ranging from Frank Zappa to Aretha Franklin.

“I love playing to everything and I love listening to everything, and when you have the opportunity to play with different people, you really see that there's similarity between the things.

“When you play with Frank Zappa, his music is technically difficult because he was a classical composer, but the music he wrote was very jazz-oriented … Music is always connected in a jazz way or a blues way.”

Now Ernie distances himself from pop music and plays with his own jazz ensemble, The Ernie Watts Quartet, that’s based in Germany.

“Pop music is very, very formulated. It's put together in a particular way and that's what makes it pop music … If you travel with a pop group, you play the music the same way every night at a pop show. When you play with a jazz group it's different every night.

“The tunes may be the same, but the performances are different and it evolves [because] you allow it to evolve and try different things … The only big sort of pop group that I've played with where it was encouraged to play differently and to improvise was with The Rolling Stones.”

The Ernie Watts Quartet play the Powerhouse as part of the Brisbane International Jazz Festival Saturday June 1.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion

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