John has just released a new EP. Reflections is a collection of five deeply personal instrumental pieces composed and recorded by John whilst in self-isolation. Showcasing the sensitive and expressive aspects of John's piano playing style, these pieces have been created especially for relaxation, meditation and reflection. You can listen to tracks in the Music section.
John Watson is a UK singer, pianist, keyboard player and songwriter. He has performed worldwide at venues that include: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, The Dorchester, Claridge's, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, JVC Jazz Festival Paris, Grand-Hôtel Du Cap-Ferrat Music Festival, The St Regis New York, The Langham London, Park Hyatt Saigon and guest artist on the Dave Koz Smooth Jazz Cruise.
Noted for his vast and varied repertoire, John is also a respected accompanist and has worked with artists that include Leee John & Imagination, Mica Paris, Salena Jones and Sister Sledge.
John has recorded several albums, composed theme music for the BBC and independent broadcasters, co-written songs with Leee John and other artists and was recently commissioned by the international furniture company PGT-Reclaimed to compose their company song Reclaimed. John is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
John has over a hundred videos on his YouTube channel and this playlist includes everything from John performing at private events and parties, with the John Watson Trio at The Langham, on keyboards with Leee John & Imagination plus some music videos of his original songs.
You can suscribe to John's YouTube channel below.
John was born in the north of England and grew up in a small town near Blackpool. He soon showed interest in music and, at the age of six, joined the local brass band. The conductor Tom Birch noticed his potential and coached him in music theory. By the time he was eleven, he had passed Grade 5 theory and also won several trophies and medals playing the tenor horn and cornet in slow melody contests. It was at the suggestion of Tom Birch that John started piano lessons at the age of nine.
Coinciding with his move to Fleetwood Grammar School, John won a scholarship to attend the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Saturday mornings. Life got even busier when he joined the Lancashire Schools Symphony Orchestra on trumpet and tours of the UK, Sweden and America followed. John was also gaining experience in pop and jazz doing gigs in and around Blackpool on piano and keyboard. However, tragedy struck when John had a bike accident and a wheel spoke went through his upper lip. This was to affect his direction professionally in the future.
Despite the setback of the bike accident, John was still offered a place (first study trumpet) at not only the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester but also the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He grabbed the chance to move down to London but soon realized the setback of his accident was going to affect his chances of success as a professional trumpeter. However, without even trying, he was getting offered lots of work as a pianist and keyboard player. He also got heavily involved in the jazz and pop workshop at Guildhall. Other musicians in the workshop included Mike Lindup (Level 42) and Dominic Miller (Sting) and the band Jawbone evolved. If you hadn't guessed, the name was derived from John's initials and the "bone" part referred to the funky brass section. John had also started working with bands outside Guildhall gaining priceless experience and playing a wide variety of styles.
After graduating with a G.G.S.M. (Graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama), John was determined to make a career as a professional musician and did everything from teaching piano to playing for ballet and keep fit classes. He still played with bands but had progressed from backing vocals to often being lead vocalist. John decided it was time to go solo and residencies followed including the Westmoreland Hotel in St. John's Wood (which became the Hilton International at Regents Park). John was now mobile, self-contained and building up a following in North London.
Then came a chance meeting with a famous singer. It happened when John visited a late night restaurant to hear his friend Tim Dourado performing. Seeing that Tim needed a break, John took over and enjoyed jamming with the singer who turned out to be Leee John (lead singer of the pop/soul band Imagination). It wasn't long before John was musical director and keyboard player for Imagination. Recording sessions, tours and TV appearances followed and John continues to work with Leee today. John has also toured with Mica Paris, Sister Sledge and recorded with Des'ree.
From 1990, for an amazing eighteen years, John was resident pianist at Four Seasons Hotel London where he arranged Dinner Jazz nights in Lanes Restaurant. Top female vocalists such as Joan Viskant, Nina Ferro and Jacqui Hicks were regular guests performing with John's jazz trio. Through popular demand, he has recorded and produced several albums including Master Of The Mood which features his trio plus a guest appearance by Leee John who sings on the track Shangri La co-written by John and Leee.
John was also very involved in Leee's jazz album Feel My Soul. As well as playing piano and electric piano on the album, John co-wrote two of the songs: - Flamingo Blue and I've Always Known I've Loved You. He is also featured in the making of DVD which comes with the CD following their journey to Alhambra-Colbert Studio, Rochefort, France. John was so impressed with the studio (and engineer François Gaucher) that he returned there to record his solo piano album Heaven: a Night At Four Seasons.
Since 2009, John has ben resident pianist and musical director in the Palm Court - The Langham, London where he recorded his album The JW3 Live At The Langham. Venues and events John has performed at include: - The Berkeley London, Birmingham International Jazz Festival, Blenheim Palace, Claridge's, The Dorchester, Four Seasons Hotel London, Grand Hôtel Du Cap Ferrat Music Festival (Côte d'Azur), Harrods, Hôtel Byblos (Saint-Tropez), Hôtel Hermitage (Monte Carlo), Jumeirah Carlton Tower, JVC Jazz Festival Paris, The Lanesborough London, London Palladium, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Olympia Exhibition Centre, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Royal Garden Hotel, The Savoy and The Stables (Wavendon). Worldwide, John has performed in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Holland, France, Italy, Malaysia, New York, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam.
No live dates at the moment but John is doing some virtual performances such as Too Shy To Say with Leee John and the #64BigBandProject. If you are interested in John doing a virtual performance for you feel free to contact him. Options include remote recording sessions, online music lessons and virtual performances for private parties/events
"Thank you so much for providing the music at our Heads of Department Dinner last Friday. As a DJ, singer, musician, disco and band in one, you did a fantastic job and everybody had a great time." John Stauss (General Manager - Four Seasons Hotel London)
"Your new CD is just amazing." Alessia (Warner Music Italy)
"Thank you John for your contribution as a musician/arranger, for the work you put in and for wearing both guest and muso hats on the day." Michael Lindup (Level 42)
"Hi John. What a fantastic afternoon! I hope you felt the love in the room! You were totally amazing and we are so grateful to you for coming to Chai." Lynne (Chai Cancer Care)