Bobby Watson Earns Prestigious Jazz Award

Bobby Watson and his band performed on the Helzberg Hall stage with members of the Kansas City Symphony, conducted by Aram Demirjian, assistant conductor, on February 16.

Watson is a professor with the Conservatory of Music and Dance

Conservatory of Music and Dance Professor Bobby Watson was presented with the prestigious Benny Golson Jazz Master Award at Howard University in Washington, D.C., March 7. Watson was honored for his excellence in jazz and his role as a mentor in the worldwide jazz community.

The Howard University Jazz Ensemble created The Benny Golson Jazz Master Award in 1996 to honor the legacy of Howard University Alumnus Benny Golson. Golson, a jazz composer and saxophonist, is the composer of jazz standards such as: “Killer Joe,” “Along Came Betty,” “Blues March,” “I Remember Clifford” and “Stablemates”. Golson has presented master classes at the UMKC Conservatory. Other Benny Golson Jazz Master Award honorees include The Thelonius Monk Institute for Jazz, Greg Osby and Javon Jackson.

Watson is the Conservatory’s William D. and Mary Grant / Missouri Professor of Jazz Studies. He is a Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, producer and educator. He has worked with notable jazz artists Max Roach, Louis Hayes, George Coleman, Sam Rivers and Wynton and Branford Marsalis, as well as vocalists Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter, and Carmen Lundy. He has performed all over the world, including on stage at the world-renowned Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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Photo credit: Stephen Butler, Photographer in Residence, American Jazz Museum.

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