for the Musicians' Portrait Project
Eugene Watts is the creator / founding partner (with Charles Daellenbach) of the Canadian Brass ( http://www.canbrass.com ) . Prior to forming the Canadian Brass in 1970, he enjoyed an extensive orchestral career with the North Carolina, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.
Watts joined the Toronto Symphony as first trombonist at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa in 1966. In 1969, he met tuba player Chuck Daellenbach and the two set out to create a new model for brass quintets -- a model which emphasizes accessibility, entertainment and which has put the brass quintet centre stage in the traditional (and formerly staid) concert hall.
Gene grew up in a musical family in Sedalia, Missouri, listening to dance bands and jamming with local jazz groups. He financed his undergraduate music degree at the University of Missouri with his Dixieland band, the Missouri Mudcats.
Gene further developed his approach to the trombone while completing graduate studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston; there his love for music expanded from baroque and classical to contemporary concert music and jazz. In 1992, his Alma mater awarded he and his Canadian Brass colleagues honorary doctorates in music.
Watts' philosophy of music has guided the Canadian Brass for 40 years. His intuition often shapes the group's repertoire; on stage his witty repartee with Daellenbach delights audiences everywhere.
Gene shares his life-long interest in meditation with the group in order to keep stress levels down through long months of touring. He lives in Toronto with film maker Barbara Sweete. (Source: Canadian Brass web site, edited)