Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Friday, 24 April 2015
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " MARY WATKINS " AN ELECTRIC COMPOSER WHO WORKS COMFORTABLY IN BOTH THE CLASSICAL AND JAZZ TRADITIONS : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
An eclectic composer who works comfortably in both the classical and jazz traditions, Watkins draws no firm boundaries around any one style. Elements of blues, gospel, county/folk, and pop slip easily into her work, and her versatility as a composer, arranger, pianist, and producer is reflected in the pieces she has composed for symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, film, and the theater. Born in Denver, Watkins began her formal musical training when she was four, and by the age of eight was already starting to improvise and compose short piano pieces. After receiving a degree in music composition from Howard University in 1972, she performed with jazz combos in the Washington, D.C. area, then moved out to the west coast and established her own jazz quartet. Several albums, and numerous commissions and awards, soon followed. Notable among Watkins' many compositions is the jazz score for the musical play Lady Lester Sings the Blues, based on the life of Lester Young, andThe Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie, a jazz adaptation of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet.