- New York saxophonist Ray Blue and Dick Watson of Iowa City have been performing together for more than twenty years in Duo, Trio and Quartet formations. They will be performing together again on Sunday, December 4th as the Ray Blue / Dick Watson Duo at the Flatted Fifth Blues and BBQ, Potter’s Mill, 300 Potter’s Drive in Bellvue, Iowa from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. They will be presenting popular jazz standards and songs from the great American song book. This performance is a rare opportunity to hear these two master musicians as they reunite in an intimate setting as a duo.
Ray Blue’s music can be described as a fusion of straight ahead jazz and warm melodic storytelling. Ray is a New York bred saxophonist and composer, who performs and conducts workshops and master classes internationally. Over the years this award winning New York based saxophonist has shared the stage and studio as leader and sideman with John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Kirk Lightsey, Bernard Purdie, Steve Turre, Reuben Wilson, Danny Mixon, Wycliff Gordon, Bruce Cox, Charles Davis, Doug Sides, Wayne Dockery, Clifford Adams, Belden Bullock, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, John Betsch, Calvin Hill, Michael Cochrane, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Cotton Club All Stars, Harlem Blues and Jazz Band and many others.
Dick Watson grew up in Indianola, Iowa. He started taking classical piano lessons at age 8. At age 13 he added jazz lessons in Des Moines, Iowa with Speck Redd, a good friend of Duke Ellington. Dick went to Park College in Parkville, Missouri for one year and then transferred to the University of Iowa where he graduated with a degree in German. All through school the weekends were filled with playing gigs. Dick has played most of the last 20 years on Friday and Saturday nights with his trio at The Lighthouse Inn in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has played in a number of local festivals and venues in the area over the years including the Bix Festival in Davenport and the Cedar Basin Festival in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Dick has played with Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Boots Randolph, Roy Clark, Al Hirt, Smokey Stover, Rusty Jones, Bill Allred, Pee Wee Matese, J. R. Monterose, Ira Sullivan and Dave Bennett among others.