Monday 25 March 2013

James Bond trumpeter Derek Watkins dies

Derek Watkins, the British trumpet player who played on every James Bond film soundtrack from Dr No to Skyfall, has died aged 68.

He died at home in Esher, Surrey, on Friday after a lengthy illness - Philip Biggs, editor of the Brass Herald said.

Watkins was "widely considered to be the foremost British Big Band trumpet player" of all time, said Mr Biggs.

The trumpeter, who turned professional aged 17, is survived by his wife Wendy and their three children.

He was born into a brass band family and was taught to play the cornet at the age of four by his father.

Watkins then played in the band his father conducted - the Spring Gardens Brass Band in Reading - of which his grandfather was also conductor and a founder member.

He also played with his father's dance band before turning professional.

Watkins was described as "Mr Lead" by jazz great Dizzy Gillespie; as well as the Bond films he played with the Beatles, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra during his lengthy career.

The trumpeter played with the BBC Big Band and performed for prominent jazz musicians Johnny Dankworth, Maynard Ferguson and Benny Goodman.

Mr Biggs described his friend as "a people's person - no side, no ego, a fun loving musician who couldn't get enough of life, who loved his family".

Source: BBC

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