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Watkis started playing the piano in his late teens with encouragement and the influence of his older brother vocalist Cleveland Watkiss. Trevor initially took up music playing the guitar prompted by his other guitar-playing brother and inspired by the music in he heard at home. Later, after hearing the playing of Mulgrew Miller, Julian Joseph and Donald Brown, Watkis made the transition to piano. In 1989 he went to study in the USA at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Trevor got the opportunity to immerse himself in a very musically and culturally rich environment while studying at Berklee.
In the spring of 2007 Watkis released his debut album on the independent BlueSoundScape Music label entitled, Straight Ahead...Ride For Tone!. Recorded in New York, the CD features mainly compositions by Watkis, with a band of some of New York's finest musicians: Steve Wilson (alto & soprano saxophones), Darren Barrett (trumpet), Reuben Rogers (bass), and Lewis Nash (drums). Watkis was interviewed about the album on the BBC Radio 3 show Jazz Line-Up, where he talked about the album with presenter Claire Martin.
- "Trevor Watkis Official Website"
- "Jazz Times review: Straight Ahead...Ride For Tone!"
- * John Fordham, "Trevor Watkis, Straight Ahead ... Ride for Tone" (review), The Guardian, 3 August 2007.
- "BBC Jazz Line-Up", 27 October 2007.
- Jack Massarik, "JAZZ: Trevor Watkis, Straight Ahead ... Ride for Tone! (review), Evening Standard, 20 April 2007.