Ernie Watts was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1945. He began playing saxophone at thirteen and later attended the Berklee College of Music. Professionally, Watts plays saxophone (tenor, alto and soprano), clarinet and flute, and is best known for his work with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West and his Grammy Awards as an instrumentalist.
Watts also played tenor saxophone with The Tonight Show Band under Doc Severinsen for 20 years and was a featured soloist on many of Marvin Gaye’s original albums on Motown during the 1970s (including “Let’s Get It On” and “I Want You”). He later toured with The Rolling Stones, joining them on their 1981 “Tattoo You” tour.