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Trombonist Reggie Watkins born August 24, 1971 in Wheeling West Virginia, played piano, trumpet, and tuba before taking up the trombone and attending West Virginia University for jazz performance studies. Watkins cut his teeth in and around West Virginia in the 1990s as an apprentice to the great bassist, composer, and band leader Kevin Frieson before moving to Pittsburgh to join the scene there and play with artists like drummer Roger Humphries and guitarist Jimmy Ponder. In 1999, Watkins joined legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. During his tenure with Ferguson he became arranger and musical director and played and recorded extensively for more than six years.
Watkins was selected as a semi-finalist for the 2003 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and in 2004 he recorded his first album as a leader titled “A-List” as part of the Maynard Ferguson Presents Series. In 2010 he released his second CD “One For Miles One For Maynard” and his CD as leader in 2016 “Avid Admirer, The Jimmy Knepper Project” (BYNK Records) with Matt Parker - sax, Orrin Evans - piano, Tuomo Uusitalo - piano, Steve Whipple - bass, and Reggie Quinerly - drums.
In 2008 Watkins joined the band of GrammyAward winner singer-songwriter Jason Mraz to tour the world an record extensively.
2018 brought a once in a lifetime event when Watkins was invited to play at the funeral of Aretha Franklin where he joined the many musicians, activists, entertainers and friends of The Queen of Soul to celebrate her life.
Currently in addition to his many jazz efforts, Watkins plays with The Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band and touring frequently with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. He is the founder and frontman of Pittsburgh’s own Steeltown Horns.