Bio

Born in Birmingham in 1989, Sam studied at Leeds College of Music before continuing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music with a scholarship. He graduated with distinction in 2013, also winning the Humphrey Lyttleton prize. He has performed professionally with Ray Warleigh, Abram Wilson, Iain Ballamy, Dave Cliff and Zhenya Strigalev amongst many others and regularly performs across the U.K and abroad, including a 2011 CD release with successful Portuguese vocalist Mila Dores. He recently performed at the BBC proms Late series which was broadcast on radio 3, and also at venues across London, including the Wigmore Hall, the Forge in Camden, the 606 Club, Pizza Express Soho and The Vortex jazz club.

His own music draws on a diverse range of musical styles and influences, from jazz to tango, Brazilian music, classical music and ragtime, with a big cinematic influence as well. He currently runs his own group “the Sam Watts Band” which plays all his own compositions as well as other projects with saxophonist Mike Fletcher and vocalist Mila Dores, and occasional solo piano performances. He has studied with many great musicians including Nikki Iles, Liam Noble, Gwilym Simcock, John Taylor, Pete Churchill, Mark Donlon and Matthew Bourne. He was also a recipient of the Alan Hawkshaw foundation award in 2007 and has had one of his compositions recorded for an international CD release by Norwegian concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko. In November he performed a solo concert in the 2013 London Jazz Festival playing a selection of ragtime/stride piano pieces.

He has also been musical director for the show “The Definitive Rat Pack”, travelling and performing internationally with them, and is currently working a new project as musical director/arranger for a celebration of Judy Garland which is launching in March 2014 at the Hippodrome in London. He has made radio appearances on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio London.