Ernest James Watts was born October 23, 1945 in Norfolk, Virginia. He began playing saxophone at thirteen. After a brief period at West Chester University, he attended Berklee College of Music on a Downbeat scholarship. He toured with Buddy Rich in the mid-1960s, occupying one of the alto saxophone chairs, with Lou Marini sitting the other.
He traveled to Africa on a US State Department tour with Oliver Nelson’s group and played tenor saxophone with The Tonight Show Band under Doc Severinsen for 20 years. During the Seventies he was a featured soloist on many of Marvin Gaye’s Motown albums, as well as on countless other pop and R&B sessions during 25 years as a first-call musician in the studios of Los Angeles, California.
In the mid-1980s Watts decided to rededicate himself to jazz, recording and touring with German guitarist and composer Torsten de Winkel, drummer Steve Smith and keyboardist Tom Coster. He joined bassist Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, played the saxophone on the Grease soundtrack, clarinet on The Color Purple soundtrack and performed on the opening theme song of the popular 80s sitcom Night Court.
Ernie founded Flying Dolphin Records and in early 2008, his Analog Man won the award in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Jazz Album, worked with vocalist Kurt Elling, won a Grammy in 2010 for Best Jazz Vocal Album. He tours Europe twice a year with his own Ernie Watts Quartet, as well as Asia and summer jazz festivals the world over.
He has toured with the Rolling Stones, played the mystery horn on Frank Zappa’s album The Grand Wazoo, and has performed and recorded with Richard Groove Holmes, Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Alessi, Bobby Alessi, Gene Ammons, Paul Anka, Eric Martin, Willie Bobo, Brass Fever, Kenny Burrell, Lee Ritenour, David Axelrod, Donald Byrd, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Gino Vannelli, Randy Crawford, Kurt Elling, Torsten de Winkel, Hellmut Hattler, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, J. J. Johnson, Carole King, Charles Kynard, John Mayall, Carmen McRae, Blue Mitchell, Helen Reddy, New Stories, Moacir Santos, Lalo Schifrin, Bud Shank, Gábor Szabó, Gerald Wilson, Ndugu Chancler, Alphonso Johnson, Patrice Rushen, Joe Louis Walker, Barry Goldberg, Paul Jones, Chubby Tavares, T. Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and Otis Span among others.
Tenor, alto and soprano saxophonist and flautist Ernie Watts has won two Grammy Awards as an instrumentalist and continues to perform, record and tour.
Carli Muñoz was born Carlos C. Muñoz, on October 16, 1948 in Puerto Rico. A self-taught pianist, his music of choice was jazz, European avant-garde and American pop music. Among his early influences were ragtime, early American ballads, boogie woogie and classical music, especially that of Erik Satie and Edgard Varèse.
When Carli turned 16 he headed to New York City with a rock band he co-founded with Jorge Calderon called The Living End, AKA: Space, and for 18 months was the house band at a New York club. He later moved to Los Angeles, California where he worked with Charles Lloyd, George Benson, Wilson Pickett, Jan and Dean, The Association, Chico Hamilton, Wayne Henderson, Les McCann, Peter Cetera and Evie Sands.
From 1970 through 1981, Muñoz toured with the Beach Boys, playing Hammond B3 and piano. Following this period in his career in 1985 he returned to Puerto Rico and stayed out of the spotlight. 1998 saw him opening a restaurant, Carli Cafe Concierto.
His most recent releases include a solo piano project Love Tales, Both Sides Now, with bassist Eddie Gómez, drummer Joe Chambers and flautist Jeremy Steig, Live at Carli’s Vol. 1, Live at Carli’s Vol 2 and Live at Carli’s Vol 3, recorded live at Carli Cafe Concierto, and Maverick with Eddie Gómez, drummer Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron on clarinet and tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, and a tribute album In My Soul, in memory of both Carl and Dennis Wilson.
Pianist Carli Muñoz, sometimes spelled Munoz, continues to perform jazz in his restaurant and often returns to the mainland to perform and record.
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Patti Cathcart was born on October 4, 1949 in San Francisco, California. She is one half of the jazz duo Tuck & Patti. She grew up singing and was performing with The Brides of Funkenstein when she met guitarist Tuck Andress at an audition in Las Vegas in 1980.
After relocating to Patti’s hometown of San Francisco, the two worked as members of a Bay Area rock-cover band. Needing to make some real money they learn some songs as a duo, put together a band, started performing as a duo, and catching on. Their fame as Tuck & Patti around the Bay Area grew and finding themselves declining recording offers to focus on polishing their unique sound.
In 1987 they signed with Windham Hill Records, recorded their breakout album Tears of Joy and received airplay on both jazz and pop radio stations around the U.S. They recorded several more albums for the label before signing with Epic Records for an album in 1995. They followed this with more releases on the Windham Hill and 33rd Street Records labels. Ultimately they established their own label, T&P Records, which licenses their recordings for worldwide distribution.
Married since 1983, Patti and her husband Tuck Andress, who hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, plays a 1953 Gibson L-5 guitar because it was the model played by his idol Wes Montgomery. The duo continues to record and perform at concerts and festivals around the world. In between gigs the two are educators, holding vocal and guitar workshops and teach privately.
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Jacintha Abisheganaden also known as Jacintha or Ja was born on October 3, 1957 in Singapore of Sri Lankan and Chinese parentage, her mother and played piano. Educated at Marymount Convent School, Raffles Institution and the National University of Singapore, where she graduated with an honor degree in English. She then went to America where she studied creative writing at Harvard University. She studied piano and voice from her early teens and also sang in the Singapore Youth Choir, where she met her future collaborator Dick Lee. Growing up she listened to vocal jazz and traditional pop, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Miriam Makeba, Barbra Streisand.
She first came to prominence in 1976 winning a local television talent contest, Talentime, singing jazz. Continuing this winning streak in 1981, Jacintha nabbed the Best Female Performer award for her role as Nurse Angamuthu in General Hospital at the Drama Festival. She has worked as arts reporter, an actress, as well as a vocalist recording her debut album Silence in 1983 and two years later released her second album and played a series of live jazz shows at The Saxophone.
In 2004, Jacintha performed her own cabaret jazz show, The Angina Monologues at the Old Parliament House, Singapore. Since her debut album she has recorded eleven albums, dedicated a few to Ben Webster, Julie London, Johnny Mercer and Hollywood, and has released a compilation album in 2008. Vocalist Jacintha Abisheganaden continues to perform, acting and recording.
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Dewayne Pate was born in Richmond California on October 2, 1960 in the cradle of East Bay Funk. He began learning the bass at the age of 15 and by 1980 was moving to Los Angeles where he attended the Musicians Institute and studied with bassists Jeff Berlin and Bob Magnusson..
He returned to the Bay Area with a wide range and versatility. Pate has worked with Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Charlie Musselwhite, Henry Butler, Long John Baldry, Chris Cain, Bonnie Hayes, Duke Robillard, Betty LaVette, RAD, Johnny Hiland, Huey Lewis and the News and Tracy Nelson. He held a 2 year position with guitarist Robben Ford.
In 1992 he released a highly acclaimed instructional video titled ”The Art Of Tapping” and released his debut solo CD titled “Melting Pot” with Robben Ford, Dennis Chambers, Andy Narell, Marc Russo, and Johnny Hiland. Bassist Dewayne Pate has toured with trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and continues to perform and record both as a leader and sideman.
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