Corky Siegel and Ernie Watts, two like-minded friends, bringing people together across different traditions. Corky Siegel is known internationally as one of the world’s great blues harmonica players, blues pianist, singer, and writer of unusual songs, a Chamber Blues progenitor, and sole pioneer/composer of award-winning revolutionary works that weave blues and classical forms together. Corky’s has a catalog of recordings on RCA, Vanguard, Alligator, and million-selling blues/classical recordings on the iconic classical label Deutsche Grammophon. Siegel learned his craft – personally – at the feet of such legendary first-generation bluesmen as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, and Otis Spann. Ernie Watts has been featured on over 500 recordings by artists ranging from Cannonball Adderley to Frank Zappa and even the Rolling Stones. He was a featured soloist on many of Marvin Gaye’s albums on Motown during the 1970s, as well as on many other pop and R&B sessions. In 2014, Mr. Watts received the prestigious Frankfurt Music Prize. Watts has performed and/or recorded with a long list of who’s who in Jazz including Pat Metheny, Billy Cobham, Kurt Elling, Arturo Sandoval, and Jack DeJohnette to name just a few. His saxophone can be heard on countless television and film scores, and recordings too numerous to list. These are legends!
A few years back I had the pleasure and honor of chatting with both Mr. Watts and Mr. Siegel, separately about an upcoming performance they were putting toGether in Madison. Once again, we are back at it…this time a conversation as a trio. This time around they are heading back to the North Street Cabaret on May 20th, as a duo. We get into a lot of what will go down both musically and personality-wise as a true night of entertainment awaits. We also discuss some of the possibilities of the unknown that always seem to happen when there is a spontaneous shared spreading of joyous moments. Since this tour is made possible by the Johnny Carson Tonight Show Foundation, we get into stories of historical importance of both Ernie’s and Corky’s as it pertains to Doc Severinsen, the Tonight show and even, Mr. Carson. Classic. We go back to their first meeting and the humorous way the two share in how that “you only get one time to mae a first impression’ introduction went down. We talk about some of the new music Corky has been working on and putting out as a solo artist as well as MORE Different Voices, even….And well, we have a whole lotta fun, which, afterall….is the goal.