Justin Watt was born in Ravenna, Ohio where he began his study of
percussion and drum set at the age of ten. In 2002 he
obtained a Bachelors of Music Degree from the Hugh A. Glauser School of
Music at Kent State University and in 2005 a Masters of Music Degree
from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. He also
spent the Fall of 2002 semester doing post-graduate work at Cleveland
State University. His principal teachers include Ted Rounds (KSU), Dr.
Glenn Schaft (YSU), Tom Freer (The Cleveland Orchestra), Mark Gonder
(The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra), among others.
Justin started his professional career in his early-teens playing
various rock and jazz related gigs near his hometown. Throughout college
he freelanced principally in Northeast Ohio most frequently in the
jazz, pop/rock, theatrical and classical idioms. He most recently
finished a 2½ year stint as the drummer for the world famous Glenn
Miller Orchestra where he toured throughout the United States, Japan and
Canada. He has also performed with many notable performers such as Jim
McNeely, Michael Burritt, comedian Jack Carter, Larry O’Brian, David
Morgan, The Four Aces, Dolores Parker Morgan, Julia Rich, the Guy
Lombardo Orchestra, Maddy and Masterpiece, Paul McGhee, Joey De
Francesco, Nick Hilscher, Bobby Shew, Kent Englehardt and Jimmy Heath.
Currently, Justin is residing in Asheville, NC where he is
free-lancing and involved with several music projects. He plays
regularly with the Like Mind Trio, an eclectic jazz trio that features
many exciting original compositions, the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, a
full sized jazz big band made up of many professional musicians from the
region, and the David Dhoop Band, an electrifying groove-based rock
band. Justin also performs with Peggy and the Swing Daddies and
sometimes the Sharon LaMotte Band and Bill Gerhardt Trio among other
jazz groups. He is also active with many regional theater groups
including the Asheville Community Theater, Southern Appalachian
Repertory Theater and the Haywood Arts Regional Theater. In addition to
teaching percussion at the Asheville Music School, Justin is an adjunct
instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville.