John Watson

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John Watson began writing about jazz at the age of 14, interviewing artists including Terry Lightfoot, Chris Barber and Ottile Patterson for his Yorkshire school magazine. At the age of 15 he had his first magazine feature published in Jazz Beat, an article on the Savoy recordings of Charlie Parker. While working as a reporter and feature writer for several regional newspapers in the late 1960s, Watson interviewed stars including Pee Wee Russell, Bud Freeman, Buck Clayton, Big Joe Turner, and a host of blues artists including Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim and John Lee Hooker. Since the 1970s he has interviewed many jazz legends, including Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Gil Evans, Phil Woods, Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and Michael Brecker, his articles appearing in newspapers, websites and in Jazz Journal magazine. He always had a passion for photography, and since taking early retirement from his newspaper career he has expanded this aspect of his work, with recent joint and solo exhibition locations including the EFG London Jazz Festival, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the World Jazz Photo Exhibition in St Petersburg, the Pancevo Jazz Festival in Serbia, and the Ipswich Jazz Festival in Suffolk. His photography book The Power Of Jazz won critical acclaim, and his galleries of photos from UK and international festivals can be found on his website given at the top of this article.

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