06/29 8:00 PM & 10PM - $65.00
The A B C and D of Boogie Woogie featuring Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters, and Charlie Watts (legendary drummer of the Rolling Stones) and Dave Green
“The best jazz drummer of the goddamn century.” – Keith Richards, Life
“Jazz is my passion. This is the music that I really want to do.” – Charlie Watts, 2010
Drummer for the Rolling Stones since the beginning in January 1962.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (1989)
Modern Drummer Hall of Fame Inductee (2006)
Ranked as one of the Top Ten World’s Best Drummers, per Rolling Stone magazine readers’ poll, February 2010
Around the age of ten, Watts discovered jazz and blues music; Miles Davis and John Coltrane were two of his early influences. He started playing music on his own a few years later, converting a banjo into a snare drum. But music was just a side interest for Watts at the time. He left school at 16, and then studied at the Harrow School of Art.
In 1960, Watts got a job with a London advertising agency. He showed his literary and artistic talents though his children’s book about jazz legend Charlie Parker, Ode to a High-Flying Bird, which was published in 1961. Watts also played drums with a variety of groups, including Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. Blues Incorporated was an important part of London’s burgeoning blues scene, and featured appearances by such performers as Brian Jones,Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, and others.
Watts, however, quit the band as it became more popular because he did not want to leave his day job. Guitarist Brian Jones went to form the Rollin’ Stones (later the Rolling Stones) with singer Mick Jagger, pianist Ian Stewart, and guitarists Keith Richards and Dick Taylor in 1962. After turning down the Rolling Stones previously, Watts finally agreed to join the group and played his first gig with the band in January 1963.
“For me it was just another job offer,” Watts explained in According to the Rolling Stones. He had no expectation that the group would soon be the next big rock sensation. In 1964, the Rolling Stones hit the No. 3 spot on the British pop charts with their cover of Bobby Womack’s “It’s All Over Now.”
While the rest of the band was cultivating their image as rock music’s bad boys, Watts was settling down. He married Shirley Ann Shephard in 1964, and the couple welcomed a daughter named Seraphina four years later.
The Rolling Stones scored their first No. 1 hit in the United States in 1965 with “Satisfaction.” A string of other successful songs quickly followed such as “Paint It Black” and “Ruby Tuesday.” The self-described “World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band” continued to enjoy enormous popularity for the next two decades.
By the 1980s, he found time to pursue projects outside the Rolling Stones. He returned to his first love, jazz, and formed a number of different groups. Current jazz project with The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie featuring Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters, Charlie Watts and Dave Green. “A blast of sheer good fun… As the entire ensemble launched into a finale of Down the Road Apiece…the whole room seemed to have turned into a bouncy castle for grown-ups.” – The Times UK, April 15, 2009
Released seven jazz albums with the Charlie Watts Orchestra, Charlie Watts Quintet, Charlie Watts / Jim Keltner Project and Charlie Watts and The Tentet.
Contributed to music on albums by Jack Bruce, B.B. King, Alexis Korner, Leon Russell, Pete Townshend/Ronnie Lane, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Eric Clapton, Chico Hamilton, Marianne Faithfull, AC/DC, Ben Sidran and many more.
Drummer in Rocket 88, with Jack Bruce (upright bass), Ian Stewart (piano) and Alexis Korner (guitar).
Over the past two decades, Charlie has been able to pursue his passion for jazz, playing in a variety of settings whenever he wasn’t otherwise engaged with the “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band.”
In 1985, Charlie formed a big band, the Charlie Watts Orchestra, and toured the U.S., ultimately releasing Live at Fulham Town Hall. In 1991, he formed a small group, calledThe Charlie Watts Quintet, to pay homage to the music that first grabbed him while growing up in London. In a span of five years they released a series of stellar recordings:From One Charlie, Tribute To Charlie Parker, Warm And Tender and Long Ago And Far Away. Next came Charlie’s heartfelt collaboration with Jim Keltner, The Charlie Watts / Jim Keltner Project, in tribute to their favorite drummers, with each track titled after a different hero. On his most recent double-CD release, Charlie’s Tentet was recorded live at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s in London on Watts at Scott’s. Hear the warmth, joy, and virtuosity of this dream team of jazz masters as they perform a diverse collection of compositions from the likes of Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk to originals from the Tentet themselves including Gerard Presencer‘s take on the Glimmer Twins in “Faction,” to two tracks culled from the aforementioned Watts / Keltner Project.