I had a Dream last night from a James Last Concert in 2006 in Stuttgart! At this show Derek leads the polonaise Playing with his Trumpet and i´m direktly behind him with my Hands on his shoulder´s it was so amazing for me i will never forget this in my life.............. Derek you are missed every Day more!! R.I.P
Alexander Ludwig 30 January, 2015
I played with Derek on just one occasion and feel myself very lucky to have done so. On the desktop of my work and home computers I have the MP3 of the final 45 seconds of Derek playing My Way. If I feel remotely down or stressed, one listen brings a smile and lifts any gloom. Every time. R.I.P. Derek.
Tony Rickard 6 August, 2014
Woke up this morning feeling really down..put A Derek cd on and bingo feeling much better. I had the chance to work with him many times..for that, I am a very lucky person..sadly missed.
Katie King 6 August, 2014
My sincere condolence to the family of Derek, I have just heard of the passing of Derek R.IP. I heard him play on two occasions in Ireland and at The Royal Albert Hall.What a performer,I am in total shock. Thank you for your beautiful music. Your music will still go on. Ger Boyle
Ger Boyle 15 April, 2014
The trumpet lesson you gave me in the office of the Boosey and Hawkes shop in Regent Street back in the early 80's is something I will never,ever forget. So talented and so generous. God Bless you Derek.
Robert Simmonds 27 March, 2014
I really shocked, don't know what to say or to write. Just found out that Derek past away. I am said to hear that. Never met him, but I loved him and his music. The world lost a great artist. My prayers are with his family. Jean-Pierre
Jean-Pierre Rummens 25 March, 2014
Memories of my teenage years dancing to his Dads band in the Majestic Ballroom in Reading , and him playing in the band he must have been about 12 years old .. to quote some lines from 'American Pie' I cant remember if i cried, when i read about his widowed bride, i felt a feeling deep inside, The day the Music died,. R.I.P. Derek
DERYK TAYLOR 25 February, 2014
I feel immensely privileged not only to have known Derek personally, but to have heard him play live so many times as well. A wonderful, fun-loving human being and unbelievable musician. A very sad loss
Morgan Cox 6 January, 2014
My darling Derek, the days are rushing past and it will soon be Christmas, when we used to put up our decorations and your wretched fairy lights with bulbs missing, all to the sound of Nat King Cole singing Merry Christmas. It seems so long since I heard your voice or held your hand, and as I face my first Christmas without you, I know you will be with your beloved family, insisting we try our very best to have a good time. Things will never, ever be the same my love, but in your memory, I shall continue to put one foot in front of the other and remember other Christmas Days when we were all together, I will even buy your port and Stilton just for you. I love you. xxxxx
Wendy Watkins 10 December, 2013
Listening to you tonight mate - miss you more than ever. Always with me though xxx
Jamie Frampton 5 December, 2013
1970 - The Tom Jones Tour. The best 3 months ever, with such a great bunch. DW, Big Jim Sullivan, John Rostill, Kenny Clare, Johnnie Spence. Living in Bermuda I only just found out on October 10th 2013. I only met Wendy once, but love to you and the family. Tony Brannon
Tony Brannon 12 October, 2013
I feel privileged to have been able to refer to Derek as "a friend, a colleague and teacher". He was, and still is, inspiration to all brass players worldwide, myself included. I met him 15 years ago and since then our paths crossed numerous times, including our final meeting where he put is arm round me and said "we've made a trumpet player out of you yet!" Thank you Derek for a lifetime of knowledge passed on, for amazing music and for the amazing friendship you showed me.Ed
Ed Mayo 20 September, 2013
I am so pleased to have met Derek and to have worked with him on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and on Hotel Transylvania which we did last summer. He was a fantastic player and always very fond of a good laugh. The story I told the orchestra upon beginning Cloudy 2 in July was that last year, on a cue in which he was TACET, he still listened intently and then came and told me what he liked about the cue afterwards. A true musician interested in it all. I'm very sorry for your loss but consider myself terribly fortunate to have been able to see his talent in person, if only for a short while. Isobel gave me your e-mail and so I took the liberty of sharing that with you. Cheers, James James T. Sale
James T. Sale 21 August, 2013
R.I.P. Derek. We were in the same band for two years at the Astoria Ballroom, the Jack Dorsey Orchestra. This was Derek's first professional job. Within a week he was offered a gig with Kurt Edelhagen, the German Stan Kenton. Dorsey and several musicians advised him to stay put, ensuring Derek that his time will come. This was 1963 and Derek was only 17 and a half.
Gordon Rowley 19 August, 2013
I posted on here shortly after Derek's passing and I still find it hard to believe that never again will I be able to sit in an audience and hear his wonderful trumpet. It's hard to accept that never again will I be able to chat to that humble genius backstage...a man who was more interested in talking about me than about himself. It is important his family know that although time moves on quickly, Derek has not been forgotten!
hugh 3 August, 2013
I still can not believe Derek is no longer among us. For he will always stay connected for me to two people with the first name James. The trumpet of the most famous film theme of the world James Bond, who also will be attached to the sound of James Last. Derek we will miss you but fortunately there is still music to listen to! I wish your wife and childern all the best to coop with this lost.
Leo van Doorn 28 June, 2013
Trumpet players everywhere will miss your playing Derek. Your musical abilities, engaging smilie and effortless playing hooked me from the beginning. I have been a fan for many years. First discovered your playing through the internet while searching for my neighbor's brother who played trumpet with you in the James Last orchestra- Bob Lanese, man what a kick it has been to listen to you. May God bless you and your family. Chris Thompson USA Columbus, Ohio
Chris Thompson 27 June, 2013
My late wife and I on many occasions attended concerts of James Last and Derek was a consumet player.He was fantastic and added that touch of magic to all the music he was involved in. I hope he and his music will live on. X
Paul Shilton 15 June, 2013
Dear Derek - I´m very proud that you´ve answered personally on my message last year - never ever believed in that. You were such a great human being and you made my life much more beautiful with your fantastic art. Now your battle is over and you are free forever to play with all the other stars in heaven. Rest In Peace "Mr. Lead"!
Christian Langheim/Germany 4 June, 2013
I only found out today (280513)What a trumpeter , . Fantastic music, I hope your children will play an instrument . You did it YOUR WAY..
Trevor Coleman 28 May, 2013
Listening to the wonderful outbursts on My Way with Hansis band. Very few players can play such Beautiful flugelhorn and a few bars later shooting fire with the trumpet. We miss You Derek and we feel enormous gratefulness for Your fantastic playing.
Anders Ellman 26 May, 2013
Derek was for me a great inspirator. He played with the James Last Orchestra. The best performance was Mac-arthur Park with Derek on bugel and trumpet. Thank you for playing this song on your way. Hans van Dijk
hans van Dijk 26 May, 2013
Amazing wonderful funny man had the pleasure to hear play, while my sons band had the great pleasure to perform along side Derek and friends .
Amanda Gow 24 May, 2013
Derek, thank You for all your great music. Penny Lane is in my ears and in my heart..., forever.
Piotr Kaczmarczyk 22 May, 2013
The world of music has lost one it's greatest talents, biggest smiles and inspirations. God bless you, Derek. It was a privilege to be your friend and colleague.
Jamie Talbot 21 May, 2013
Derek, sie waren ein sehr großes Idol u. Vorbild für mich. Für mich brach eine Welt zusammen, als ich von ihrem Ableben lesen musste!!! Wenn ich Musik von James Last höre, (seit über 30 Jahren) höre ich auch Derek. Danke für diese schöne, aber zu kurze Zeit!!!
Reinhard Glantschnig 18 May, 2013
Thanks a lot for all the Great Performances. Derek was a great idol ... I remember the unforgetable concerts with James Last and 'McArthusPark' with Derek .... God bless you!
Hilmar 16 May, 2013
I'm glad that I had several possibilities to listen to this man during James Last concerts and his unique trumpet sound that I' ll never forget. Thank you Derek!!!
Markus Fischer 16 May, 2013
Derek, you were the best trumpet player in the world. Your life was really too short. RIP Derek
Raphael 16 May, 2013
The JL Orchestra will never be the same without you, Derek ! You were the best trumpettist I ever heard ! THANKS FOR ALL you gave us ! I remember always MacArthur Park & also My Way, unforgettable forever...
Johan Vercarre, Oostende (Belgium) 15 May, 2013
God bless you Derek. Although you have passed on from this world now, you will never be forgotten, and will continue to be an inspiration for me and future generations of trumpet players to come. You were the best of the best, and always will be. Cheers my friend. Si. x
Simon Gardner 14 May, 2013
We were at the RAH over the weekend and have been doing so for more years than we care to admit! Over that time I have had the pleasure of talking with Derek, I even had the "one-upmanship" of introducing him to my brother a trumpet player. Derek's friendship then and always with special. Thank you Derek.
Ron & Diane McWhirter Glasgow 4 May, 2013
We have just returned from the James Last concert at the Royal Albert Hall this weekend and were stunned to hear of the passing of Derek. Were furtunate enough to speak with him several times after past concerts when he kindly signed our programme. His playing delighted everyone who heared it and he will be sadly missed. Condolences to his family.
Michael and Sylvia Hawkins 30 April, 2013
I have just returned from the James Last concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. It was great to see Chuck, Bob, Jan & Bob (trumpet section) wearing the SuperC shirts during the first half of both concerts. This was acknowledged by some of us as the jackets came off. I was approached during the intervals by visitors asking what the shirt I was wearing represented and where they could be purchased. Bob Coassin says he needs more!
Paul Coulson 29 April, 2013
So sorry to hear about Derek who I met on some occasions after JL concerts here in Southampton. Had chance to talk with a beer at one occasion. MacArthur Park will always be a great memory to hear live. God Bless and thoughts with your family.
John Ellery 29 April, 2013
Was so sad to hear that Derek passed away. I first became a fan on his when I heard him play Macarthur park on flugelhorn with James last, it just blew me away. I wish I had the chance to meet him but his talent lives on. Heaven will surely be be better place with Derek in its orchestra.
Simon Gray 26 April, 2013
I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of Derek. One of the most talented trumpetplayers of the world has left us, a terrible loss for music. I saw Derek perform many times with the James Last Orchestra and every time you could hear a needle drop in the theatre. I respected him for the way he played his trumpet and the music he could get out of it. My heart truely aches, for a great talent is no more. Fortunately, we have so many records to listen to to remember Derek. He may have passed away, in my heart he will play forever.
Jan Verherstraeten 25 April, 2013
Derek - an honour and an absolute privilege over the past 15 years to have worked with you, always giving that very special edge, inspiring and lifting all around you - I am truly grateful. A truly great musician, and a very special person. Thank you. Love & thoughts with Wendy & the family.
Andy Barnwell 24 April, 2013
The weekend of March 22nd I treated myself to a JP Smith Watkins 251 after lots of trying different trumpets. I am just an adult basic learner, having only has proper lessons for about 18 months. I was so saddened to hear on the Monday of Derek's death that very same weekend. What an amazing trumpet player, he really put so much character and love into the way he played and the collaboration he had with Smith has produced a really beautiful instrument. The trumpet makes such a beautiful depth and breadth of sound and makes the music sing like no other. What an amazing instrument to have been involved in creating. That is pure genius just like his playing. I will always think of him when I play now and hope I do him proud. With much love to you all at this tough time.
Lindsay 21 April, 2013
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Derek. I loved listening to Derek play, he brought much joy and inspiration to my life through his music. My thoughts and prayers are with Derek and his family.
Kevin Bostenero 17 April, 2013
Saddened by the loss of this fine musician. I am 17 years old and the technique, tonal qualities and professionalism has inspired my greatly. Undoubtedly, one of the finest British trumpet players we've ever known. With a career ranging from James Bond to Barbara Streisand - this man was the best. Complete and utter loss to the music business and industry. Keep playing, Derek.
Matt Spalding 17 April, 2013
When I was a young lad at Ashmead school in Reading I met Derek and was taught to play by his grandfather George and father Ted. I played in Spring Gardens brass band and I can still vividly remember Derek sitting on solo cornet alongside his dad. We went our different ways but still met a few times throughout the years when we had a chat about old times.In my opinion Derek was the greatest trumpet player of his generation throughout the world and one of the greatest trumpet players of all time. I introduced my family to Derek at the Royal Albert Hall after a James Last concert and what amazed me was that my son was so proud of me because I knew Derek. I shall miss his wonderful playing but we do have his recordings. I did not know his wife or children but I understand how sad you all must feel. Please accept my condolences the world has lost a great man.
Colin Bell 16 April, 2013
I am so sorry to read of Derek's death. I haven't seen him since his early days with the Jack Dorsey orchestra. I was as at Ashmead School withe Derek and his talent was recognised at a very early age in the school brass band - without him the band sounded awful! I 'Googled' Derek a few months ago (I have lived in Australia since 1966) and was thrilled to read of his fantastic career, which came as no surprise. I emailed him and got a lovely reply, though he mentioned then that he was receiving treatment for an 'illness'. My thoughts and sympathy go out to his family and friends. He will be sorely missed by so many but the joy that he brought to so many will never be forgotten. Nick Hill (Melbourne, Australia)
Nick Hill 15 April, 2013
Tonight I was wondering again how to order a CD of Derek. About two weeks ago I searched for a gift for my brother in law who is very fond of trumpet music. Then I thought of the perfect sound of Derek, who I knew from James Last. I wanted to send him an e-mail: to ask about this CD and to send him a picture of James Last, I made recently. Then I read at the internet about his recovery from cancer. Tonight I was searching again for his music, till I saw the unbelievable message of his death… From 1974 I became a big fan of the James Last orchestra, also because of the wonderful trumpet playing of Mr.Watkins. My mother always said he was a look alike of my cousin, who passed away a couple of years also. I happen to make a lot of pictures during the concerts of James Last, known as Hansi, which I use for calendars and photo-albums. What I remember in the years Derek played in his orchestra, is the great admiration Hansi exposed for this wonderful trumpeter as he introduced him, before Derek would play one of his unequalled solo’s. Hopefully the angels above play their harps half as good as he played the trumpet, else they may be able to learn from him what it is to make music in a real heavenly way: therefore they shouldn’t think “I have to play ‘my way’”, but in HIS WAY!! May his family find the strength to go on… Jan Verniers Arnhem The Netherlands
Jan Verniers 13 April, 2013
He was the greatest inspiration for me. Such a big one! We lost a great trumpetplayer and a great person. Fortunately we have his recordings, unfortunately we don't have him anymore...
Patrick Dieperink 13 April, 2013
Thanks to Kenny Wheeler, I had the great pleasure of getting to know Derek over more than forty years. A most extraordinary and dedicated player. He will be missed in every corner of the world of music.
Evan Parker 13 April, 2013
I know Derek as the trumpist of James Last Orchestra and my meeting during one of thoose concerts still in my mind. When he start to play you could hear he play with his heart, and i always got chickenskin. We have lost a great mucisian and a nice man. My thoughts are with his wife and family and I wish them all the strength to overcome this loss.
Louis van Kilsdonk 12 April, 2013
I count myself lucky to have had the privilege to have recorded with Derek on one occasion. A colossus of the trumpet and a tremendous musician and character. I will be reminded of him every time my daughter plays her trumpet with a lead pipe designed by him.
Paul Mottram 12 April, 2013
I had the great pleasure of working with Derek from my very earliest days at KPM, working with Robin Phillips, and later both as a composer and performer. In my eyes, Derek was always the ultimate professional with a wonderful sense of humour and always so modest about his huge talent. My thoughts are with Wendy and all the family. Peter Cox.
Peter Cox 11 April, 2013
I had the great pleasure of working with Derek from my very earliest days at KPM, working with Robin Phillips, and later both as a composer and performer. In my eyes, Derek was always the ultimate professional with a wonderful sense of humour and always so modest about his huge talent. My thoughts are with Wendy and all the family. Peter Cox.
Peter Cox 11 April, 2013
Always a pleasure to be in the company of such a talented and wonderful person. A thrill to hear him play. Sadly missed by all his friends and colleagues "He has moved a little nearer to the Master of all Music" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow" (1807 - 1882) Sincere condolences to Wendy and all the family. Ray Davies
Ray Davies 10 April, 2013
Derek was always present right from the start of my studio career, and I quickly learnt that I could write stratospheric notes that were only playable by Derek - rather useful for the Bond Movies I must say, and I wasn't shy of writing those, and every time Derek amazed us all! At John Barry's Memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 Derek's extraordinary talent gave us an achingly beautiful, haunting performance of 'Remembering Chet' which I shall remember forever. Thank you Derek for all of your grace, talent and kindness. Nicholas Dodd
Nicholas Dodd 10 April, 2013
To Wendy and your family. Having returned home to Guildford after yesterdays funeral, may I say how much it was an honour to be present at the 'Farewell' to Derek. I have been an avid fan of Derek's ever since I first saw him playing with James Last Orch. a good number of years ago. I always tried to get seats close to his playing position whenever we went to the concerts. He was a true inspiration to me and a gentleman throughout. I have been playing his YouTube videos over and over again since he passed away. Yesterday was a memorable occasion and will live with me for a long time.
David S C Wilson 9 April, 2013
To Wendy and all of your wonderful, loving family. I've always pinched myself as I'm doing something I'd dreamed of. The times I've played in sections with Derek especially as a green youngster depping in shows and having Derek's encouraging words of support, then having the pleasure of being asked to play in Don's band and having the most amazing section behind me, in fact a band of legends, with the jokes, laughter, banter and musicality I will never forget, happy days. I along with all of us lucky enough, to have worked with a great man, have been blessed. You are all in Andre and my thoughts as this is the hardest time after such a fantastic send off, many sore heads especially mine as a lightweight drinker these days, the love and respect was so massively evident, we have lost a legend, friend and leader, Derek will always be in our thoughts, lots of love Tracy and André xxx
Tracy Holloway & Andre Messeder 9 April, 2013
I met Derek in 1982 during the 'Hamburg Parties' with James Last. He and Big Jim Sullivan (another sad loss) sat and chatted on our final evening in Germany. I was living in Reading at the time so we became 'The Reading Boys'. His solos during the Hansi concerts were phenomenal and guaranteed goosebumps (Would he hit that note?) Similarly, his antics on stage with his fellow-trumpet players showed his love of life. You know that you have arrived when Private Eye magazine honour your death in its Poetry Corner. A tribute to Derek appears in Eye issue 1337 (out at the moment) Love and Best Wishes to his family
Paul Coulson 9 April, 2013
I didn't know Derek for very long and sadly only heard him in the orchestra pit just the once, but I should like to add my tribute. He lived for his music and his family. His humility, dedication, bravery, and overriding good humour will live with me for a long time.
Ian Judson 9 April, 2013
I always knew when Derek was playing on a session. It wasn't necessarily the magnificent sound that I heard first, or the range - very often it was the genuine, warm laughter. Whichever it was, I knew straight away that he was there. I will really miss him.
John Elliott 9 April, 2013
I first met Derek 20 years ago ( I was a keen 19 year old) and have had the pleasure many times of sitting next to him in a trumpet section. From our first meeting he was inspiring, supportive, encouraging and extremely generous. I always knew we were in safe hands when I saw his trumpet on the stand. I'll miss having him around. Thanks for everything Derek. Love to Wendy and the family. X
Pat White 9 April, 2013
I spent many years going to James Last concerts with my parents before having my own family and one of the biggest personalities I always remember was Derek's! We chatted on many an occasion and he remembered my Granddad having a band in Reading at the same time as his father did. I remember him as enjoying a good laugh and being a genuinely lovely man. He was a huge talent that will be missed by so many but never forgotten. My thoughts are with his family at this time.
Teresa Osman (Nee Birch) 9 April, 2013
I've just been listening to and watching various videos featuring Derek. He really was so very very good, wasn't he ? An absolute master of the instrument he chose to play. Bless him.
clare torry 9 April, 2013
A lovely man and fabulous musician. It's great that his music will be heard for many generations to come. My thoughts are with Wendy and all the family.
Steve Fox 8 April, 2013
The first time I met Derek was in the Ronnie Scott’s Club, probably in 1967, where he appeared in a pick up band with Maynard Ferguson. Derek played the lead part in such a superior way that Maynard jokingly told him ,,Stay out of my register.” I remember when Derek did a demonstration at our school of some trumpets that he had helped design. To give an impression of the sound with a certain lead pipe he played a scale and then played the same scale with a second lead pipe and again the same scale with a third lead pipe. And he hit all the notes with a fantastic sound ... the scale was always going up to a high A above the C. For Derek that was just normal business. I remember that on the First Brass recording Derek managed to get a perfect imitation of a trombone glissando by using his left hand to operate the tuning slide of the third valve. For him there were no boundaries. What strikes me however the most is the fact that a musician with these unbelievable talents could stay so humble. He was just one of the guys in the band. Derek will, in many ways, always be an inspiration to me. Erik van Lier
Erik van Lier 8 April, 2013
In 1977 I was asked by Peter Herbolzheimer to join his All Star Orchestra. The trumpet section was amazing: Palle Mikkelborg, Allan Botschinsky, Ack van Rooyen, Rick Kiefer and Derek Watkins. What an honour to play with such amazing quality players. Derek had this special gift and sound that gave you the feeling of him being in total control of any situation. His sound was singing, projecting and leading without giving the feeling of being dominant. I never heard this done by anyone else. I feel very lucky to have known Derek Watkins. Touched by this experience, I always try to do the same in my own playing. Thank you Derek. Bart van Lier
Bart van Lier 8 April, 2013
When we planned the daring "First Brass" project in 1984, my now-husband, Allan Botschinsky found his perfect player pals in Peter Herbolzheimer's Rhythm Combination & Brass. What a band that was - the great late Peter Herbolzheimer had assembled top of the world players for his All Star Band. They had a monthly Saturday night TV show in Cologne where they accompanied guests like Sammy Davies jr., Shirley Bassey, to name but a few. It couldn't get any better, and many thought that Derek Watkins was among, if not THE world's best lead player at the time. And he continued to be. What a giant, what a genius, what a funny man. What a serious musician, what a beautiful soul, what a wonderful solid friend. "Derek Is Forever ..." Marion Kaempfert
Marion Kaempfert 8 April, 2013
Today is the day of Derek's funeral. What a sad day for us all, what a sad day in the history of musicmaking. When I asked Derek in 1984 to be part of our new project "First Brass", there was no doubt in my mind that he was the best I could get for this "job". I didn't particularly ask him because of his high notes (we didn't mind them though ...) but for his brilliance as a lead player, his beautiful tone even in the highest register, his inspired solos, his profound musicianship. Derek Watkins and the van Lier brothers made the project unique. What I thought would probably not work did happen. It was made possible not at least because Derek was there. I so miss him. "Nobody Does It Better ..." Allan Botschinsky
Allan Botschinsky 8 April, 2013
Derek you are a superhero. The safest pair of hands. The one who nailed it every time. I will never forget your outstanding ability and your extraordinary humanity - through thick and thin. You've been such a great example to us all. You're everything we love about the world of music.The warmth, the fun, the soul and the brilliant talent. It all adds up, so whenever they come to write the story of music you'll be there as one of the true greats. What a privilege to have known you and been able to call you my friend. George
George Fenton 8 April, 2013
It's so hard to know exactly what to write here, how to capture thoughts and feelings for such a huge personality and such a huge musician! I have been so lucky to work with Derek many times but the best by far is in BBC big band sessions. The saxes sit directly opposite the trumpets, facing each other. The excitement, musicianship and sound coming across that room was always just astonishing!! I am honoured and will carry these memories forever. He was always very encouraging, supportive and complimentary about my playing, which means a great deal to me. Much love goes to Wendy and all the family, especially for today. Here's to giving Derek a fantastic send-off! Cheers Derek! Xxx
Claire McInerney 8 April, 2013
With great sadness that I learned of the death of Mr. Lead. He was always a great role model. he will always be in my thoughts. I wish his family the best ....
Stefan "Dino Bumann 7 April, 2013
Archer Street 1962: Cliff Hardy had formed a big band of young lions who rehearsed in a local club. A young lad of 17 came in one week and blew us all away. In no time, he was the top lead trumpet on the most important studio dates as well as being a great jazz player. I liked the comment by Maynard Ferguson: "Derek, would you keep it down a bit". He was the best.
Len Skeat 7 April, 2013
Derek will always be a massive inspiration. A truly fantastic, encouraging and wonderful gentleman. Am so honoured to have met and had the opportunity to have worked with him. Such a stunning musician, just beyond words. Not only his unbelievably awesome trumpet playing will remain, the sound of his infectious laughter will too. Sending lots of love to the Watkins family xx
Corrina Silvester 7 April, 2013
I remember hearing Derek's infectious laugh one morning at Abbey Road and I knew that this would be a good session to be a part of. He leaves a brilliant legacy of recordings that are an integral part of our musical history. I will also remember the times he used his trumpet as a pea shooter! Thank you Derek for the privilege of knowing you.
Ray Russell 7 April, 2013
It's all been said, funny, great to be with and a phenomenal player. Sorry can't be there to say goodbye, off to see Zorro The Musical open in Atlanta - Derek set the tone on the original recordings. I'll remember him as Zorro goes to the rescue!
John Cameron 7 April, 2013
Derek always was my greatest inspiration for playing trumpet, and he always will be. I'm sad we can't see him anymore, but through his wonderful and ever-present recordings he will live on forever.
Tim Jaekel 7 April, 2013
The music world has a large hole in it that can never be filled. I will always remember the time many years ago when we were talking about the Alfa Romeo you had. You were trying to convince me that because it was Italian you had to put grated Parmesan in the petrol, what a sense of humour! RIP Derek. Love and thoughts to Wendy and family x
Gerry Holmes 7 April, 2013
Whenever I saw Derek it was always a pleasure. The musical world has lost a true great and he influenced all those who knew him or heard his playing and continues to do so. Thoughts are with Wendy and all of Derek's family but I am very grateful to have known Derek and to have had the extraordinary privilege of working with him too. RIP.
Simon Hale 7 April, 2013
Heartfelt condolences to Wendy and the family. Derek was a charming, funny and warm character. He was defined, in many ways, by what he excelled at - a supernatural talent at playing the trumpet. He was supportive and kind to me and I'll cherish his kind words and the echo of that infectious, gleeful laugh. And so will everyone who had the joy of knowing him. Gareth Valentine
Gareth Valentine 6 April, 2013
My heart-felt condolences to Wendy, Sarah, Ellie, Sean and their families. My memories of Derek the MAN and Derek the MUSICIAN are among my most cherished. My thoughts and prayers are with you in these difficult times. Derek: for the first time in your life, your timing was off. R.I.P.
Bob Lanese 6 April, 2013
What a wonderful Man and a gread Trumpet-Player has leaf us now! Derek,you still live on in our Mind...! From Germany your true Friend Alex
Alexander Ludwig 6 April, 2013
Derek was described as a Legend. And that is exactly what he was, is and always will be to everyone who knew him. While you rest in piece your music will always live on. xXx Brian & Nicky Hill
Brian Hill 6 April, 2013
I first became aware of Derek's playing in the late 1960s, when his name began to appear on albums in my teenage collection - leading the brass on recordings by Mike Gibbs, John Dankworth, Tubby Hayes and the Clarke-Boland Big Band (who can forget the screaming coda on 'Reprieve' from "At Her Majesty's Pleasure"!!) Fast forward a decade or so and, with a mixture of thrills and trepidation I find my early attempts at arranging being played by some of those same guys whose names and faces I had grown up with. It could be a daunting experience for a young(-ish) arranger to confront a line-up of seasoned pros in the studio - would they give the 'new kid' a rough ride? That was never the case with Derek: he knew we were all there in service of the music and getting the best performance possible was all that mattered - if he felt a passage could be improved by adjusting the phrasing slightly, he would take care of that as unobtrusively as possible, so as not to cause any embarrassment. He was a true gentleman and it was an honour and pleasure to have known and worked with one of the greatest ever.
Kevin Townend 6 April, 2013
To have touched the lives and hearts of so many all around the world is such a great legacy to leave behind. You shine in the "light" with Louie, Miles, Dizzy, Freddie, Sweets, Nat, Maynard and all the greats. I'm honoured to have had the pleasure to meet and work with you with James Last. My deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to your eternal Soul Mate Wendy, your beautiful children and all the family and lifetime friends that you leave behind. R.I.P. Derek, Love and Respect, PP Arnold
PP Arnold 6 April, 2013
It was a privilege to have sat in the same section as Derek on a few occasions, it was an education every time. I was honoured while running the London marathon last year for Macmillan cancer support to have been asked by Wendy to "run a mile for them" - I held them in my thoughts for a whole mile but they came in and out of my thoughts for the whole run & often during the months of training. Derek & Wendy were incredibly generous in supporting me & my fundraising. My sincerest condolences to Wendy & family. RIP
Adam Linsley 6 April, 2013
I was only lucky enough to meet Derek on 3 occasions but each time I was struck by how much of a generous, lovely man he was. I'm sure there are lots of people who knew him better than I did who have great stories to tell and are far more able to talk about his other brilliant qualities. However I will always count myself very lucky to have met and played with him- an experience I will always treasure. He's the sound of so many of my favorite records, and he never failed to meet expectations as a truly astonishing trumpet player and a warm, genuine man. Lots of love to his family.
Reuben Fowler 6 April, 2013
A friend lost An wonderful man lost and a great musician and teacher to all of us that knew him lost. I heard he will be buried Monday and we all will stand in silence for him But in that silent moment I will hear his laughter and his horn And I will be hugging his memory I know you're safe and sound up there with God You're being missed greatly down here though. Our condolences to Wendy and her family James Last and familiy
James Last 5 April, 2013
I was shocked to read that Derek is no more here. I am a little bit emotional, cause his trumpetplaying and the drummer (Jenkins) are the ones that make me love James Last music. I like to wish his family rest in their lives and I am shure, that he's now playing in heaven! Love from Holland, Gert.
Gert Timmerman jr 5 April, 2013
RIP Derek, a great loss of a great trumpet player. My warmest regards and condolences to all the family.
Benny Rosenfeld 5 April, 2013
we were privileged to see derek play at the john barry memorial concert in 2011. i felt so moved by his performance that i emailed derek via his website, and received a very touching email reply. what an incredible talent. his performance that night will stay with me.
ian c 3 April, 2013
What is there to say that hasn't been said. The words of many speak of Derek's amazing mastery of his instrument, his humility and his wicked sense of humour. There is nothing to add to that. All musicians, from those who met him to those who hadn't but were inspired through hearing him, are going to miss him and his immense talent. I've read all of the previous posts and was touched by Ellie's comments - "Dad, joke's over, you can come back now". If only that were true. I can see that as well as the magnificent back catalogue of work out there for everyone to enjoy, Derek's sense of humour appears to be living on... Whilst we talk of missing him, no-one will miss him more than his family. My prayers go out to them all.
Bill McCance 2 April, 2013
Je suis tromboniste depuis 32 ANS , et Mr Watkins a toujour été pour moi le meilleur trompettiste , mon idole , combien de fois je suis allez l'écouter sur you tube , je suis très triste , et je ne l'oublierais pas quand je jouerais avec mon instrument . SINCERE CONDOLEANCE A LA FAMILLE Good bye the artiste !!!!
François KRISTNER 1 April, 2013
A great loss to the world of music. Luckily millions of people have heard his wonder! An inspiration to so many.
Ross Clarke 1 April, 2013
Sincere condolences to all the family. Whenever Derek turned up to a session there was always a smile and an assurance that all was well.
Haydn Bendall 1 April, 2013
With great sadness I read that Derk had lost his battle with cancer and mourn his passing as I did both his father and grandfather. Truly the end of an era. I too played in the Reading Spring Gardens Band, having been taught from the late 1960s by both George Snr and Ted whilst at Highdown School. I treasure the memory of the single opportunity that I had to play alongside Derek when he sat in with Spring Gardens during a concert in the Forbury Gardens in the ''70s. I played a horn solo ("Feelings") just prior to a solo from Derek ("The Lazy Trumpeter" - later he performed a memorable cornet duet with his Dad). This humble superstar in our midst was so generous with his praise and encouragement, as I returned to my seat, I will never, ever forget him. From other tributes, this seems typical of this truly exceptional musician and inspirational man. My sincere condolences to Mrs Watkins and the family.
Brian Rogers 1 April, 2013
I believe that the word 'legend' is over-used these days....but it couldn't be more apt when it comes to describing my hero Derek and his effect on the trumpet/music world. He was, and always will be, a true legend. I feel so honoured and privileged to have met Derek, albeit only briefly, but in that time, I got to experience the genuine hilarity, humility and warmth of the real man behind the trumpet. An inspiration to me and millions of others, his loss is immense.....but his musical brilliance and his memory will live on forever. Thank you Derek for being what you were to so many of us - Rest in Peace. X Sincere condolences, love and much respect to Mrs Watkins and all the family.
Pete Curtis 1 April, 2013
To the Watkins family, I hope you find strength at this time in this huge outpouring of admiration for Derek. I first met Derek when he agreed to take part in the 'Anything Goes' recording and I was privileged to get to know him during 'Play Without Words'. On numerous occasions I would leave the office at the end of my day via the back of the auditorium to wonder at his performance on that show. He made a huge impression as a truly genuine person and one of the very best musicians I have been fortunate enough to hear.
David Gallagher 31 March, 2013
You are my inspiraton, even now you are gone I still get goose bumps when. I hear you play. You are one of a kind.. Always Number 1 xxxx
Kay Easdown 30 March, 2013
What a loss for the Musical World..! He was a such inspiration to many. We will miss him greatly. He was a Legend in his Trumpet. Our thoughts is with his family and friends. Derek, you contributed with your remarkable talent on the Trumpet to many young and old musicians....Thank you!!! You will NEVER be forgotten!!!!
Geisa Brocklehurst 30 March, 2013
My condolences for the family and all the fans around the world who, like myself, feel grieve for the passing of Mr. Watkins. Thank you so much for all the beautiful music you contributed with your remarkable talent.
Israel Calixto. Brasil 30 March, 2013
Just learned of Derek's passing while listening to him, as I do all the time, and reading through the comments section. Can't begin to express how sad I am, knowing he's not with us anymore. He was my idol, and the days we toured together and played along side each other are some of my most cherished memories. Bye my friend. You will always live on in my heart and I will never stop listening to you play.
Emil Cantees 30 March, 2013
I was so sad to hear Derek had died. Ever since I was at college, I can remember everyone talking about Derek Watkins (or more commonly, just 'Derek'). Once I heard his sound and musicianship through recordings and TV, I hoped that one day I might meet him or even play with him. I met him a few times in the pub whilst working on different shows, which was great fun, then finally got to work with him depping on Guys and Dolls. I will never forget the sensation of trying to play the 2nd trumpet part, while beaming like a Cheshire Cat at hearing the wall of sound next to me. So that's what it's all about! Derek was the most fantastic lead and jazz player who has been such an inspiration to all who have followed. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him, but will live on through his legacy of recordings. Love and condolences to Wendy and all the family.
Alan Berlyn 29 March, 2013
Beste Wendy en familie, Van harte gecondoleerd met het overlijden van Derek. Ik zal me Derek blijven herrinerren als een groots trompettist. Ik zal derek nooit vergeten en danken voor zijn fantastische muziek. Ik wens jullie heel veel sterkte met dit groot verlies. Derek R.I.P.
Piet Knarren 29 March, 2013
Dear Wendy and family, please accept my deep condolences. I heard of Dereks dead on Sunday but I was too sad to write. Derek was my inspiration for almost thirty years. In 1984 when I was 14 years old I heard him the first time life in concert. After that concert with the James Last Orchestra I had only one wish: I wanted to become a professional trumpet player like the phantastic trumpet-soloist on the stage. In 1996 a dream became true and I had the big honour to spend a day with Derek in Nurnberg. He was so warmhearted and funny and he gave me great support – I never will forget this time and this man. X
Hans-Juergen Waidler 29 March, 2013
Rest in peace, Mr. Watkins, the best trumpet player in the world! My condolences for the family and all the fans around the world who, like myself, feel grieve for the passing of Mr. Watkins. Thank you so much for all the beautiful music you contributed with your remarkable talent. I will never forget about you.
Juan Farías 29 March, 2013
I never got to sit along side Derek but followed his fantastic career. I met him twice and on both ocassions he was happy to chat. He has been a true inspiration to me and has always been a great conversation point among trumpet players.Derek has set an unbeleivable benchmark for others to follow. So sad he is gone but his legacy will live on through all of the great players he has inspired. It won't be the same without him. Respects to his family for their sad loss for to them he was much more than a great trumpet player. RIP Derek.
Steve Conner 29 March, 2013
Dearest Wendy and family, Heard your sad news today.Derek was clearly a very brave man, and very much adored by you all. My thoughts are with you. Andrea
Andrea Keen 28 March, 2013
Dear wendy,we had the good fortune to spend quality time with you and Derek on holiday in Menorca when you welcomed us into your company,we had a fantastic time which we will never forget. We are deeply saddened of the loss of Derek and our thoughts are with you and your family.Derek was a wonderful warm person who had so much time for everyone and I feel so proud to have known him.All our love to you and the family Peter and Pauline
Peter Gibbs 28 March, 2013
Derek Watkins will always be remembered as a musician with a very recognizable style, an enormous profesionalism and a charismatic performance on stage. I've enjoyed the major part he tributed in making the James Last Orchester wat it was. Thank you, Derek. Best wishes to the Watkins family.
Jan Lisman 28 March, 2013
Your own personal giant! Humour, compassion and talent. Derek had all of these in spades. To be next to him whether at work or play was always a privilege and an education. When I heard the sad news, tears were shed. Dear Wendy I send my love to you and all your family. X
Mike Davis 28 March, 2013
Wendy, I had the great good fortune to play trumpet with Derek on the Tom Jones tour in 1973 for ten months in the US and Japan. Though it was obvious to anyone who heard him play that Derek was a one of a kind a trumpet player, he never made me feel musically inferior or unworthy to work with or hang out with him. I have very fond memories of those times and regret not having kept in touch over all these years, all the more so now. God bless you and your family and Derek's memory for all who knew and loved him. Cal Lewiston
Cal Lewiston 28 March, 2013
Derek has been a towering figure of inspiration and example throughout my life in music, and it's incredibly sad that this apparently indestructible figure has left us. I always valued his advice immensely, especially when considering moving to Los Angeles some 15 years ago, and it's been a pleasure to work with him on various movie scores in recent years, including one just a couple of months ago. I will miss him very much on the next one and I would like to send my condolences to Wendy and the family.
Mark Graham 28 March, 2013
My earliest recollection of Derek was going for a lesson during the college summer break to my teacher Nigel Boddice. After playing for a while Nigel told me to take a seat and he then put on a video of James Last and just said watch and listen. To say I was inspired is an understatement. The video was Derek performing Macarthur Park in a concert from Berlin. From that point on I hoped one day to meet and shake hands with Derek my new idol and hero. My dream came true when I managed to get Derek to come to the first Scottish International Festival of Trumpets I organised in Elgin, June 2010. The whole weekend Derek was fantastic, from working with my youth brass band to performing as a soloist, even being compere for our final gala concert. Derek was a true musician, performer, artist and comedian. But most of all a true gentleman and friend. Best wishes to Derek, Wendy and the family x
Glenn Munro 27 March, 2013
Thank you Derek for your inspiration I have followed you with the James Last Orchestra Although we never met..I feel it right to say RIP my friend David Buckle.
David Buckle 27 March, 2013
Very sad to hear the passing of Derek, as all know, a true legend and icon to all trumpet players and musicians. A huge void to fill. I am sure his charity will prosper even more for all to benefit... my thoughts to his family and close friends.
jonathan hart 27 March, 2013
Thank you Derek for all the wonderfull moments you gave us at the James Last concerts !!! RIP
David Dawkins 27 March, 2013
Deep shock and disbelief when I was reading the news that Mr.. Watkins was deceased. I have all the concerts of the Orchestra James Last in the Netherlands attended and waited especially the solo by Derek Watkins. Thanks a lot. You remain in my mind as the best trumpet player ever. Rest in peace!
Jan Paats 27 March, 2013
We are mourning the death of our dear friend and collegue, the great Derek Watkins. We are lost for words and our hearts are filled with sadness. Derek, unforgettable ... We'll miss you forever. Allan Botschinsky, Bart van Lier, Erik van Lier and Marion Kaempfert
MA Music 27 March, 2013
We are mourning the death of our dear friend and collegue, the great Derek Watkins. We are lost for words and our hearts are filled with sadness. Derek, unforgettable ... We'll miss you forever.
Allan Botschinsky, Bart van Lier, Erik van Lier, M 27 March, 2013
Derek and I worked together on so many sessions over the years that he simply became a fixture in my musical world, providing not just breath-taking lead, but characterful flugelhorn, and, in a small group setting, terrific jazz. Good humoured and sensitive he will be greatly missed. My very best wishes to Wendy and the family.
Dick Walter 27 March, 2013
I cannot ever recall a session when Derek didn't mention Wendy and his family and my thoughts are with you all at this sad time. Thank you Derek for the sounds of your amazing playing and the sound of your laughter. Happy memories of all those Light Entertainment shows at LWT over the years as well as "Stars in Their Eyes" "The Des O'Connor Shows" and more recently "Land Girls" with Debbie Wiseman. You will be very sadly missed by us all.
Roz Colls 27 March, 2013
What a true inspiration to all trumpet players and musicians. He was an inspiration to my own career even though i did not meet him. What a one off.It will be difficult for anyone to come close to his playing and therefore leaves a lasting legacy for future generation to enjoy and admire. A true Legend in every sense. RIP and condolences.
Dominic Turner 27 March, 2013
Dear Wendy It was with real sadness I heard the shocking news of Derek's death. Don admired his playing so much particularly on the Benny Goodman Tour in the seventies, where I recall Derek and Greg Bowen were known as The Goldust Twins. When Don died, Derek sent me a really consoling letter for which I was very grateful and I still have that letter today. I know exactly how you are feeling right now and can only offer my deepest sympathy. I'm sure your children will be a great comfort to you as were my girls. Rita Honeywill
Rita Honeywill 27 March, 2013
Memories of Derek in our home town of Reading. He ran circles round us at a sit in jazz fest. A priviledge to have known him. Thinking of Wendy and family. Hold on to your memories.
Bill & Hazel Absolom 27 March, 2013
The world is a darker place now without Derek's 'star' quality. RIP,mate,and condolences to your family.
Kenny Hamilton 26 March, 2013
They say the relationship between drummer and lead trumpet is special. Along with being one of the greatest trumpet players of all time, Derek was an incredibly big-hearted man and was so supportive to me over many years. A pat on the back and a "well played" from Derek or that irrepressible smile from the trumpet section has meant so much. Derek gave me the encouragement to drive a band with confidence and be strong when the band needs it...plus how to just have fun! I feel truly honoured to have shared so many musical moments with Derek. No studio, band or gig will ever be the same without you there. We will miss you.
Ralph Salmins 26 March, 2013
happy memories,( late 1950s?), of a 16 year old lad, blowing a storm with a group i was with in a reading jazz club (the latin quarter?). he was soon to go big in the smoke!! we then bumped into each other on many sessions in the 60/70s. it was always a pleasure to perform on any session were derek was included, great music, arrangements etc. there is a great recorded library for derek to be remembered by and played. thoughts for his family.
byron davis 26 March, 2013
Sorry to hear that Derek past away. He was my insperation to play the trumpet. That will never chance. Thank you for you're briljant trumpetsound. My condolences to Wendy and the childeren
Ruud Vianen 26 March, 2013
My condolences to the Watkins family. Thanks for the music. 'First Brass' was a milestone for me.
Steven Uuldriks 26 March, 2013
My condolences to the Watkins family. Thanks for the music. 'First Brass' was a milestone for me.
Steven Uuldriks 26 March, 2013
I am one of the unfortunate that did not get the opportunity to work with or know Derek, but I know of his reputation as a person as well as a superb musician. I would like to add my message of condolence to his family and all his friends. It is fortunate that there is many wonderful recordings of Derek and his talented friends for us to listen to forever.
Les Weddell 26 March, 2013
It was always a great pleasure to work with Derek. He could play anything – in any style, with consummate ease and sparkling individuality. His warm and cheerful personality equalled his remarkable skill as a musician. It’s a huge loss to the music world and it was an honour to have known him.
Debbie Wiseman 26 March, 2013
Derek was one of the best trumpet players around. I had the pleasure to meet him, chat about banding, hear him play on many occasions and we even fished together several times over the years when in Menorca. He was a wonderful man and such a talented musician and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with Wendy and the family. Tony & Jackie Wilson - Nottingham.
Tony Wilson 26 March, 2013
It was in a jazz club in Menorca in 1976 that I meet Derek Watkins, I was very lucky to be sat next to him and enjoy his and Wendy's excellent company, the music was a bit mediocre until Derek got up and had a blow it was very obvious he was something very special as he brought the place to life with his brilliant playing and great personality.i never met him again but have followed his brilliant career via television recordings concerts gigs and mutual friends . Thank you Derek for that great night and all the years of pleasure you have given me. You are a true TRUMPET LEGEND.
Paul Williams 26 March, 2013
As a beginner trumpet player in my teens, it was recommended I tune in to a radio broadcast of the Don Lusher Big Band. I sat on the floor in a set of ancient 'hi-fi' headphones in front of my old radio/cassette with a blank TDK-C90 and dutifully pressed 'record+play', unaware of the significance of what I was about to capture. Don introduced the programme, but unusually had been unable to front the band on the night, so Jack Parnell had been out front. What followed was such a tapeful of eye- and ear-opening lead, section and solo trumpet playing, I keep it to this day. I didn't know who it was I just knew I wanted to be able to do that. It didn't take long before I identified that section, and began to realise the scope of Derek's influence. I can honestly say, along with Maynard's gigs in Birmingham and Glasgow in 1990, that recording of Don's band is one of the main factors in my decision to pursue a career at the back of a band. A few years later, whilst in the U.S., I was fortunate enough to enjoy a private lesson with another trumpet idol, Roger Ingram. On hearing my English accent, I think the first thing he asked was, "do you know Derek?" I wished I could have answered yes. In September 2001, I was excited to take a call from Diana Lusher, inviting me to play with the band in Bournemouth. I was delighted to accept, and stunned when told that the section would include Derek Watkins and Simon Gardner. I looked forward to the gig with excitement. That is to say, I think I shat myself for days. On that evening I first met Derek, he apologised for his chops, having just returned from three weeks in Menorca with little or no playing. Then he hit me in the face with a double-C. It sounded indestructible, like three years away couldn't have dented it. Sitting next to Derek was somehow simultaneously terrifying and elevating. Now, most of the evening is just a blur, but one part I'll never forget. Turning the music to 'Love For Sale', Derek spotted changes on my part, said he fancied the jazz, and asked if I'd mind swapping. A day before my birthday, on the biggest gig I'd done, this iconic man handed me the lead part to an iconic chart, and said 'well done' at the end. Holy crap. I still have the printed running order from that night. I played a lot with Don's band after that, but never at the same time as Derek. It was another nine years until I got to sit next to him again. One Saturday depping on trumpet1 on a show in London, I was thrilled, and rather embarrassed, to learn that Derek would be depping on trumpet2. I made sure I was warmed up and in the pub early, to intercept him at the bar and buy the first glass of wine. I reminded him of our first gig, and he smiled and nodded kindly, then when I told him I felt slightly awkward about sitting on a chair above him, Derek just said, "I haven't been in for a while - you can show me how it goes!" We laughed, I relaxed, played great and enjoyed two shows next to a brilliant and funny guy. Since then, I'm pleased to have seen him on occasion, and very proud to have been recognised, I couldn't hope as a peer, but as a colleague. His legacy is unquestionable - through his performances and achievements, he's known simply by his first name, and what a list he joins: Louis, Dizzy, Miles, Maynard... Derek. Millions of admirers worldwide could only listen and dream of knowing the man personally. It's an honour for me to say I did. Cheers Derek!
Kevin Wedrychowski 26 March, 2013
A true legend that even the greats can only aspire to has gone to Gabe's horn section. THE Derek Watkins has left us poor mortal trumpet players to never fill his boots! I was lucky enough to spend a day recording Derek at his home in 2007 when he took on for me the big Maynard solo by Alan Downie "Give it One" from MF Horn 2 to solo with Fairies Brass band CD as solo artist. It was an honour, a privilege, singular one off experience lesson & master class to have had the chance to be close to him in full on action, the noise went from laser shattering super A's & B's to sublime cool warm tones on flg. His attention to microscopic detail in turning a phrase was masterly. He was simply the Governor of the British horn school, the Bond chair his thrown & testament of rule. Weep, all Bb mortals of the horn, weep.
Phil Lawrence 26 March, 2013
Although I never had the opportunity to meet Derek, his trumpet playing was known around the world. I was with Tom Jones in the 1980's as his Lead Trumpet player and Tom would always talk about Derek and his trumpet playing! Wonderful tribuite and so well respected by many! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Watkins family! Greg Wing Morehead, KY (formerly Las Vegas)
Greg Wing 26 March, 2013
RIP Derek - An inspiration to all trumpet players and musicians alike. It is a privilege to be part of the generation that heard Derek's beautiful sound and playing first hand. I feel very fortunate to have met him just the once, and I'll remember that for the rest of my life. His music will most certainly live on. The music industry has lost a true legend and hero. All my thoughts are with Wendy and the whole family.
Jacob Phillips 26 March, 2013
Derek was the man. He will be sorely missed by all those whose lives he touched. He played lead trumpet on several Cook-Greenaway hits. My condolences to his family.
Roger Greenaway 26 March, 2013
He was a true inspiration and a master Musician - he made the seemingly impossible seem not only easy but enjoyable . And despite being flawlessly perfect,he made everyone around him feel so welcome, encouraged,and included. I feel so lucky that I got to be a small dot on his radar, and he will always be making me raise my game! Thoughts and condolences to Wendy and the whole family.
Corin Buckeridge 26 March, 2013
What a loss! So sorry to hear about Derek passing on. My condolences to Wendy and the Watkins family. His talent brought so much joy to many people and I am blessed I got to meet him and listen to him so many times. Derek Watkins will live on through his music. God Bless.
Bob Style 26 March, 2013
DEREK We'll miss you were the master of us all trumpet players. I offer my condolences to the whole family ....... thanks DEREK
Franco Malberti 26 March, 2013
My condolences to Wendy and family,and to his sister Jan.Derek and myself were friends when we were very young.He was good fun in those days too.Some sixty odd years ago Dereks Dad, Ted, asked me if I would Join Derek to learn how to play Cornet,He taught us in Dereks Grandmas House,We then went on to play in the Spring Gardens Band in Reading.We played together in many Concerts and Brass Band Competitions conducted by Grandad George and Dad Ted on solo cornet.It quickly became obvious that Derek was going to become a sucessful musician,we lost touch after he became a professional but I followed his career through meeting with his Mum,Dad and sister Jan.They were so very proud of him .He was a lovely person and a great musician and he will be sadly missed by his family,myself and many people he played with and gave pleasure to.I am so very proud to say I played,and laughed with Derek.My thoughts are with you Wendy,and all of your family.God bless you all.love from Geoffrey Weller x
Geoffrey Weller 25 March, 2013
I've kind of grown up with sound of Bond -Barry- and in doing so Derek too!! The special licks that only Derek could bring to that Bond sound! Had the pleasure of seeing and hearing you in concert many times, and lastly at the John Barry Memorial concert at the Albert Hall two years ago now. Well... Now you can catch up with your old pal John Barry, and both look back and be proud!! Two Trumpeters who have left there mark well and truly on this planet.... RIP Derek. My thought to your proud Family!!
Ben Shrosbree 25 March, 2013
I get goose bumps every time at just the memory of hearing that amazing sound lift me off my feet, and such a gorgeous man to boot. Thankyou thankyou thankyou. My condolences to all Derek's family.
Jason McDermid 25 March, 2013
I just heard the news about Derek's passing. I haven't seen Derek since I moved to Los Angeles, but I always think of him when I'm on a session and he's not there. He worked on all my horn sessions and there was no other like him and I'm sure when I get to pass through the gates, there will be a high C and guess who will be playing it?! Rest In Peace. God Bless. Nigel Martinez
Nigel Martinez 25 March, 2013
Mein herzliches Beileid den Angehörigen! Ich bin froh diesen hervorragenden Menschen und Musiker live erlebt haben zu dürfen. Mach's gut Derek,
Andreas von Wiecki 25 March, 2013
Mr. Watkins was my last trumpet hero/mentor to pass on. He was so kind-hearted when I had the privilege of his guidance at the RAM. I will join the others who keep his memory and inspiration alive. With a heavy heart, I send my deepest condolences to the family.
Rebekah Mancino 25 March, 2013
This news I dreaded - so it took a while to find me. Sad to see you go but really glad for all the wonderful times we have had! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Be well wherever you are now. Deepest condolences to Wendy and the family. Love Ron
Ron Last 25 March, 2013
I had the pleasure of meeting Derek just the once in the West End outside the theatre that Derek was playing on Guys and Dolls.I said that my old trumpet teacher and mentor had said to say hello if I saw him as they had worked toghether as young men . We talked for what seemed like ages and he proved to be an absolute gentleman. I will never forget that moment. Derek was a super star but took the time to talk to me and made me feel very special asking me about my playing. Derek has inspired so many of us to push ourselves to reach a standard. RIP Derek you will always be remembered.
John Harris 25 March, 2013
The first time I heard Derek in the flesh I had no idea it was him as I had only heard him on recordings or the radio, I had no idea what he looked like. A friend of mine had kindly arranged for me to sit in the pit for 'Crazy For You' and in the interval I said to my friend " Wow!, the 1st trumpet is a bit special", "Yes", said my friend, "it's not often we're lucky enough to get Derek in". Sadly he's gone but, we are left with a legacy of great recordings and another generation or two of musicians who have been inspired by him. R.I.P.
Ian Moseley 25 March, 2013
Really sorry to hear about Derek. I had the privilege of seeing and hearing him play when he was with James Last touring. A special, very talented musician. The music world is much worse off without him. Much missed.
Caroline Taylor 25 March, 2013
So sorry to hear the news. Derek was a legend and made us feel like old friends the one time we met him. love from us in spain.Take care. XX
Pat & Geoffrey Harding 25 March, 2013
God Bless, Derek. You enriched this world with your playing and your love of life. A great loss. Deepest condolences to Wendy and the family. Love Rob & Ada xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Rob Davis 25 March, 2013
I never met Mr.Watkins nor heard him in person but his music through his recordings moved me, thrilled me, and inspired me. Today I will celebrate his life through his music. May god bless Derek Watkins. Sincerely, Greg Bush, Canada
Greg Bush 25 March, 2013
I was so sorry to hear of the sad news of Dereks passing. Thinking of all of the family and this difficult time and sending my love. x
Nikki Bell ( nee Cudd) 25 March, 2013
Derek Watkins was a proper legend ..sad that I won't walk into a studio again and hear that laugh and his sound. There are others on here that know him much better than me personally but I can remember at 23 sitting in Battery listening to him bang the notes out and thinking it don't get any better than this ultimate pro ..RIP Derek and deepest condolences to the family.
Jez Poole 25 March, 2013
Met Derek a few times whilst in Germany. Such a sad loss, but such an inspiration to me as a professional trumpet player. There will only ever be one DW. Fantastic sense of humour and a great man. Will miss your presence in the music world but what a legacy to leave. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family. RIP Derek x
Mark Grave 25 March, 2013
Such a sad loss, Derek was a huge inspiration & the thread of his music runs through all our lives. Thoughts are with you Wendy and your family and hope that some comfort can be found from the love. x
Ewan Mains 25 March, 2013
A sad loss to his family and global connection of friends and fans and not least to the beautiful world of music...despite his prominence a man that kept true to himself..kept his feet on the ground..and beyond that..had a super sense of humour and comradeship. RIP Derek.
Martin Sanders 25 March, 2013
My deepest sympathy and condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Derek Watkins. He'll never be forgotten. xx
Denny Ilett 25 March, 2013
From the biggest stage in the world to the smallest jazz club. It was playing the trumpet that mattered to Derek, not the venue. Either doing recording work together or just going along to hear him play, was always a special treat for me. Derek's gift to the world has been recorded for generations of music lovers to enjoy.
Frank McDonald 25 March, 2013
A lovely family man and a great musician. My thoughts are with Wendy & his family.
Sue Twidle 25 March, 2013
Derek was on the very first session ever that I was booked to play on back in 1971, alongside the likes of Don Lusher and other legends, back in the days when as a student "Sessions" was like "Hollywood". He was already a legend then! From then on, as a "fixer" and arranger, Derek was always the "first call" for the trumpet section. He has inspired musicians and audiences alike for decades, and his legacy lives on. My heart goes out to Wendy and the Family and to all his colleagues who will miss him so much. Gabriel . . . watch out!
Martyn Ford 25 March, 2013
So sad.....the Trumpet playing of Mr.Watkins was insipre me to start learning and loving the Instrument. I will be ever thankfull and keephim in my mind. The Music will miss him. Stefan Gutscher (Germany)
Stefan Gutscher 25 March, 2013
Derek R.I.P. We love your sound en the way you played the trumpet. I visited many performances of "The Legend" ( Royal Albert Hall and James Last). When he was in Holland for the Metropool Orchestra we met him and made a picture...sad to hear that Derek lost the battle. It was a privilege to listen to his sound and to meet him. Also condolences for the family."Derek You are the best".
Pim Kruithof (from Holland) 25 March, 2013
When I was studying at the Guildhall school of music on the jazz/classical course, we always spoke of Derek with awe and unrivalled respect. This grew throughout my career, into NYJO, west end shows and sessions. Always discovering more recordings he was on. As my friends worked with him more (Tom Rees-Roberts and Ben Foster to name a few), their endless excitement and wonder of his playing rubbed off on me. I finally did get to play and record with him on a number of occasions, I remember the first time at a session , he walked in and I had to pinch myself ...That's Derek Watkins! As a piano player I never did get to say more than a few hello's, but I feel very very lucky to have played with him. My sincere thoughts go to his family and friends. He lives on in the countless recordings we all own somewhere in our record collections x
Steve Holness 25 March, 2013
I only met Derek once outside the Royal Albert Hall and went for a drink with him and one or two professional musicians later in the day the best there was in all ways my heartfelt condolences and thoughts to his family and to all those musicians who are now without him. RIP Derek
Bob Harwood 25 March, 2013
Dear Derek. For string players it was always a privilege listening to your thrilling sound from across the stage at EMi and Air Lyndhurst. You were an inspiration to every musician in the room.Long will your presence linger.
Jonathan Evans-Jones 25 March, 2013
We had the privilege of spending time with Derek on a few occasions when he was up in Glasgow. He was a unique, generous, funny, warm person. We loved to hear him play and had the pleasure of hearing him live quite a few times. R.I.P. Derek. You will be much missed.
Don & Hazel Perry 25 March, 2013
Rest in peace, Derek. Things will never be the same again. But we will try to learn from what you left us with.
Conor Kavanagh 25 March, 2013
The trumpetfamily has lost one of its most outstanding members. You were my hero and idol.. Your sound will be missed. May you rest in peace
Jan-Frode Brostigen 25 March, 2013
R.I.P. Derek ....it's was a pleasure knowing you and recording you on countless recording over a period of 40 years, you will be greatly missed....my thoughts are with the Watkins family at this time. Mike RossTrevor
Mike Ross-Trevor 25 March, 2013
Dear Watkins family, I feel so sorry... I have never had the chance to meet Derek Watkins in real life... but he has been my most favourite player on youtube and in my record collection... Thank you so much Derek... The trumpet world looses one of his most prominent lead and solo players... Rest in peace! Frank
Frank Amrein 25 March, 2013
R.I.P Derek - wonderful memories of working with you. Awesome chops and a great bloke. Sincere condolences to all the family
Alan Skidmore 25 March, 2013
My thoughts are with Wendy and all the Watkins family. Many years ago, as a young Trumpet-Player, I had the pleasure to work alongside Derek a couple of times. It was an incredible experience for me. He was very supportive and so helpful. He was such a great inspiration to me and to many others. He has left a great legacy to many musicians, and to future generations of aspiring Trumpet-Players. Thanks Derek. Rest In Peace.
Gus Andrews 25 March, 2013
A privilege and an absolute pleasure to listen to such a wonderful talent,gonna be sadly missed by many....RIP, we'll hear that Trumpet from the heavens I'm sure.....
Ange 25 March, 2013
You made the music world full of warmth and inspiration. You gave so much to all who met you. You are the example to live upto.
Ben Chappell 25 March, 2013
I will never forget Derek. His playing always excited and amazed me and his company was always a pleasure. an example to us all.
Richard Watson 25 March, 2013
I was lucky enough to spend a few days holidaying in Menorca with Derek many years ago where he introduced me to Menorcan gin (thanks Derek!). I also remember him jumping off a high cliff into the sea and then swimming across the vast bay in heavy seas - wow! What a character and blinding musician - he'll be greatly missed. RIP
Wayne Morley 25 March, 2013
Thank you for sharing the music, your talent and your wonderful sense of life with so many. We're all still listening. It was an absolute privilege to hear you play so many times and to have a few opportunities to work with you. Love to all your family.
Oliver Preece 25 March, 2013
condolences for watkins family we listen derek for many years forever R.I.P
jean pierre maison 25 March, 2013
Thank you DEREK for so many recordings and performances, your music will live forever. - R.I.P - always in our heart. We loves you and Your music. Bye...
Raoul Vandenbroucke 25 March, 2013
My condolences to the Watkins family. I only worked with Derek a few times over the years and everytime it was a masterclass in musicianship. He will be deeply missed by all. Rest in peace.
Ken Austen 25 March, 2013
From as early as knowing Derek in the Ashmead school band, he was a special person and an extraordinary cornet player. Great sense of humour and fun. No surprise he made it to the top. Sincere sympathy to all the family. Michael West
Michael West 25 March, 2013
Entering the profession as a teenager in the mid-eighties was, at times, quite a daunting experience for me and i will never forget the earthy support i received from Derek. I remember two different London Brass gigs when i had to step to the front of stage to play a solo. Looking up i could see Derek in the audience with that big smile of his. It made me want to laugh. That´s how he made me feel whenever we met and that´s how i will remember him. My condolences and best wishes to all his family.
oren marshall 25 March, 2013
I can't help feeling in awe of the countless messages of love and admiration being left for Derek - just as I could never help feeling in awe whenever I stood next to him in a section. The 13th century poet and philosopher Rumi said "In death, seek not your resting place in the earth, but rather in the hearts of men" I think Derek certainly acheived that! You were and will continue to be, an inspiration to us all. God bless.
John Thirkell 25 March, 2013
I have never met Derek. But he has influenced my trumpet playing style. His recordings will continue to influence me and others long after today. It is a better place because of him. Sorry for your loss.
Rudy 25 March, 2013
My condolences go out to the Watkins Family. Derek's works will never be forgotten especially as they are played so frequently. I lost my Father in August 2011 to Lymphatic Leukaemia and know how hard your loss is right now. Take comfort in Derek's legacy and the great music he gave to many. From Martin in Brisbane - Australia
Martin Curcher 25 March, 2013
Our condolences to the Watkins family. I never had a chance to meet Derek, but I felt I knew the kind of person he was through his incredible sound, body of work and reputation as a musician and a man. I spent this afternoon going through some of those classic recordings and I realize what a true artist the world has lost. You are truly missed.
Scott Wright 25 March, 2013
I'll never forget the sound of his trumpet and laughter at "The Be Brassy Convention" in 2001, Rotterdam. Until he played that day, I didn't know who Mr. Watkins was. But from that moment on, Derek has been and will always be, my greatest inspiration. My condolences to the Watkins family. R.I.P. Derek Watkins.
Siebe Posthuma de Boer 25 March, 2013
My deepest condolences to the Watkins family. These are sad days, and no words can express the loss you are going through. I still keep the time in my heart, when Derek was asked by the late Peter Herbolzheimer, to coach the trumpet section in the Bujazzo ( National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany)in the beginning of the 90th. I was on lead trumpet at that time, and I remember him tipping on my shoulder, sitting behind me for some hours, and saying : " Go and sit in front of the band. I will do the tutti for you." What I heard then , opened my eyes, and impressed me deeply. He made the Band fly !!!! Derek showed me, that playing lead has nothing to do with ego but with personality !!! It was such a pleasure hanging out with him fot that 2 weeks, and learning from him. I will cherish the time with him, and I will always call him my teacher. Even though it was only for a short period of time. Thank you, for such an experience . Sad,that I did not make to see Derek, in the past 15 years. Rest in peace. You will not be forgotten.
Carsten Gronwald 25 March, 2013
The Most Beautiful Lead Sound. We are our Fans Forever. Rest in Peace Mr. Lead. Condolcences to all family. God have a especial member in your orchestra there in the Heaven. Hughs from Rio - Brazil.
Altair Martins 24 March, 2013
The Most Beautiful Lead Sound. We are our Fans Forever. Rest in Peace Mr. Lead. Condolcences to all family. God have a especial member in your orchestra there in the Heaven. Hughs from Rio - Brazil.
Altair Martins 24 March, 2013
The Most Beautiful Lead Sound. We are our Fans Forever. Rest in Peace Mr. Lead. Condolcences to all family. God have a especial member in your orchestra there in the Heaven. Hughs from Rio - Brazil.
Altair Martins 24 March, 2013
Wendy You are in our thoughts. Lovely man, wonderful musician. Stalwart, always creative, among the best of the best. Never will be forgotten. "Dad, jokes over, you can come back now - I think the Angels have had a long enough lesson. Love you so much and miss you so much already. My hero xxxxxxxxxxx" Ellie Watkins Possibly the most moving bereavement message I have ever read. Great loss. Harry PATON EVANS (and family)
Harry PATON EVANS 24 March, 2013
Dear Wendy and all your family. Please accept my condolences. May God receive Derek on the best place on heaven. We all will remember him as one of the greatest ever!!!!
Arturo Sandoval 24 March, 2013
Dear Derek. So lucky being in your company, along with our friend Maurice, all those times at Air and Abbey Road. I'll never forget. Thank you. Rest in Peace Xx
Andy Crowley 24 March, 2013
I played in the Spring Gardens Band under the baton of Derek's dad, Ted. Derek would sometimes play with the band and I remember talking to Derek at his Dads funeral. Ted was so proud of his son and I feel honoured that I've met them both.
Richard Marley 24 March, 2013
As a student and music college, Derek came to wirk with our big band. I was in the lead chair and was very nervous about playing infront of Mr Lead - he put me at ease, encouraged me to play higher and louder and we traded solos too. It was a day that I will never forget. I got to meet and play with one of my inspirations. After the workshop, I asked Derek if he would play the (James Bond) riff - goose bumps or what?! Thank you Derek for your inspiration.
Dave Pugh 24 March, 2013
I have never met Derek Watkins. However, having befriended and worked with Derek Lawton, who has had the pleasure of knowing and being inspired by the man for many years, he has introduced me to the truly magical world of Derek Watkins through anecdotes, video clips and introductions to other amazing musical talents, which has left me in awe and humbled with admiration that one man can leave such an impact on the music and hearts of so many. He will missed by all who knew him and those who aspire to have known him.
John Rees-Jones 24 March, 2013
Lots of hugs and love from Barcelona & Menorca, all our condolences for all the Watkins family. Derek will be in our prays. xxx. Africa, Andrés, Andrés, Rafa & Maria.
Maria Prat Menacho 24 March, 2013
So glad to have had the opportunity to meet Derek, way back in 1989 at a James Last concert. I've looked up to him since I was a little kid and hearing him with the James Last Orchestra is what made me play the trumpet. Your sound will forever go on. R.I.P. Derek.
Harry Nijkamp 24 March, 2013
A great Trumpet Player and a inspiring example for my Trumpet Sound.... Thanks for the Sound.... Special My Way with James Last Orchestra.... Stefan from Switzerland
Stefan Schneider 24 March, 2013
To our dearest Wendy, Sean, Sarah, Ellie and all the grandchildren. Words cant express the sadness we feel for you all at this time. Derek was a wonderful man full of fun and warmth, and always had us laughing with his great sense of humour. You must all be so proud to have received the hundreds of tributes to him. You have all shown such strength throughout Dereks illness and the closeness of your family shines through. We all send you our love Helen, Terry, Laura, Jessie and Lucas xxxxxxxx
Helen Wichard 24 March, 2013
I first heard Derek play at the Albert hall in 1970/71 with Benny Goodman. He was featured in a solo called Willow weep for me. From that moment on I wanted to play like that. I'm still trying! Thank you Derek for your help and inspiration. Rest easy now.
Dave Lord 24 March, 2013
...can't find the words. But listening to Derek play as I write this. Just listen to the music. You set the bar so so high, then stuck it up an octave. Thank you for inspiring me to play and for leaving behind so many timeless pieces of impeccable trumpet playing.
Gregor Clark 24 March, 2013
The times that I was lucky enough to get to sit next to Derek Watkins on different shows, most notably "Guys and Dolls" were some of the major high points of my career. I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life. I learned so much from sitting next to the great man and had such a thrill listening to the incredible playing that was going on around me, truly awe inspiring. Aside from learning so much as a player and seeing how it's done by the best of the best, I had such a blast, especially on matinee days, going to eat out in Derek’s favourite Japanese restaurant Taro. It was a high time for me and I am eternally grateful for this. Thank you Derek Watkins. My wife and I send our condolences to Wendy and her family at this sad time.
Ben Godfrey 24 March, 2013
When first hearing you play on the James Last tour 1973, being a failed trumpet player, I always had goose pimples with your solo's. We met you many times over the years & even travelled on the coach in Germany. 68 is too young for such a tallent to be taken RIP Derek Our thoughts to your family & many many friends
Beryl & Brian Clark 24 March, 2013
Dear Wendy and the family, my thoughts and sympathy go out to you. I first came across the name of Derek when I've heard "The First Brass" 20+ years ago back in Russia. Much later through youtube I found out that I've heard him throughout most of my adult life on the recordings of James Last Orchestra. Sadly, I am only now discovering that I have heard magnificent playing of Derek on all James Bond soundtracks (no wonder I love them so much!). I always wanted to meet him, as well as my other British trumpet heroes--Maurice Murphy and James Watson. Alas, that would never happen... I feel fortunate, though, that I have been a member of Derek's facebook fan-club and that for many years he was an inspiration to me (and many other trumpet players throughout the world). May you rest in peace!
Iskander Akhmadullin 24 March, 2013
Derek, you were an inspiration to so many of us. A musicians musician and loved by the general public. You will be missed by so many. Thank you for all you contributed to the music world. Sending my condolences to your family and close friends. RIP, Derek
Alisdair MacRae Birch 24 March, 2013
To this young fresh faced drummer you were already a legend and a true inspiration - you were encouraging, supportive and helpful beyond measure... 33 years later nothing had changed - each time I got to work with you it was a complete and utter joy on so many levels. My thoughts and love go to Wendy and your family.
Allan Cox 24 March, 2013
Derek, you have always been great company to be with and a pleasure to work with. RIP.
Steve Socci 24 March, 2013
For the first 10 minutes of the initial sessions for come dancing 25 years with Andy Ross could hardly play! Sitting next to the great DW. Thank you thank you, and as the farewell went, cheers chaps! RIP Derek.
Philip Cox 24 March, 2013
Rip Derek,I remember as a youngster playing in Big Bands, you were the talk and inspiration of every trumpet section .I had the privilege to play with you once as a student at the RAM, which of course was just incredible. A true gentlemen too,made time for us all. Thoughts are with Wendy and family.
Jonathan Clarke 24 March, 2013
To Derek's family, I am so very sorry for your loss of this extraordinary man. His magnificent playing has inspired me time after time with everything that I ever heard him play on the big screen. Take comfort in knowing that his phenomenal talent and beautiful style will be admired and praised by brass players for generations to come through his countless recordings. Derek, you will continue to inspire and motivate untold numbers of trumpet players through the ages! RIP...
Larry Larson 24 March, 2013
I've had the opportunity to meet Derek all over the world on tour with James Last. I will never forget his solos. How nice moments we had during and after the show. Thank you for your friendship, Derek. God bless you. Jean-François THIBOUT Chairman of Club James Last France
Jean-François THIBOUT 24 March, 2013
Derek was a Gentleman and a Legend to everyone and especially to His fans,the best trumpet player this world will ever see.Thank you for giving so many people of all ages and walks of life the pleasure of your music.Thank You Derek,God Bless you.
Adrian Porter 24 March, 2013
Derek and I were at school together at Ashmead in Whitley, Reading. We played together in the school band and in quartet competitions ( Brass band stuff where we never lost a competition). He was part of an amazing family who were what music is all about. His dad Ted, also a great trumpet and cornet player, and his grandad Gearge was a true Maestro. I have followed Derek's career with keen interest and have treasured the times when we played together and watching Dereks development into one of the greatest trumpet players of all time. He will be missed by his family, friends and the music world.
Ken Greswell 24 March, 2013
I saw and heard Derek play at the John Barry Memorial Concert in June 2011. What an evening, and Derek's playing was simply stunning. Heaven must have some beautiful music now with you and JB up there. Thank you Derek, your playing will live on.
Rob Burns 24 March, 2013
Dear Derek, you were such an inspiration. Of all the incredible players that I've worked with in studios you were the one that always delivered BRILLIANCE with passion and heart, graciously and generously, effortlessly. You opened my novice eyes to what was possible. Thank you.
Chris Elliott 24 March, 2013
Derek, I will always treasure the few brilliant occasions that I had the privilege to sit in your trumpet section, it was always the best trumpet lesson anyone could ever have! God bless you.
Dave Land 24 March, 2013
Very few people can be called legends in their own lifetime but you certainly were (along with another great trumpeter Maurice Murphy). Maybe you will be playing duets now - wow what a thought! RIP Derek Watkins
Carl Stephens 24 March, 2013
I first came across Derek`s playing whilst listening to my mum`s James Last LP`s. I thought wow from that young age of about 8. Wonderful playing and so inspiring. I have a few friends who were lucky enough to work with him and they all speak so fondly of him. R.I.P. and thank you.
Ross Simpson 24 March, 2013
Farewell Derek, it was an honour and a privilege to have played in the same section as you. My thoughts are with your family. Sleep well.....
Bruce Douglas 24 March, 2013
I started my teaching career at Ashmead in 1959 when Derek was leading the school band, conducted by his grandfather, George.Derek was also a good sprinter, and I can still picture him running at Palmer Park in the summer of 1961. His father's band played at Reading Athletic Club's annual dance, so I had some acquaintance with all the family. In the mid-seventies my son was in the Spring Gardens Band for a while and it was he who told me Derek featured on the recording of "Fanfare for the Common Man" used on many public occasions. I feel sad that a man ten years my junior has died, but what a legacy!
Les Masters 24 March, 2013
just a total inspiration to me as a amateur trumpetplayer, trying to do things he did so effortlessly. You will be missed!!!!!
leo van mook 24 March, 2013
From non musicians your playing was magnificent Derek. You were also an inspiration to our two girls musically. Your rendition of McArthur Park among many others was superb. Thank you. Our love and thoughts are with Wendy and your family.
Pat & Tony Easdown 24 March, 2013
As Mike Townend noted, we who worked in the BBC TV Studios 30 years ago were in awe at the standard of musicianship we were fortunate to hear day after day. Derek was always one of the best of his peers and an incredibly friendly guy as well. In later years, as a record producer, I always had a great feeling of security and optimism when Derek was on the session. Great days and great players....
Bruce Talbot 24 March, 2013
I never met Derek Watkins, but through seeing and hearing him courtesy of various documentaries, video and recordings I certainly had a very good sense of him. And when I see my London session musician friends posting their condolences here and elsewhere I feel even closer to the man. The London music scene, especially that of the session players, is a unique world that accepts only the best. For Mr. Watkins to be so highly rated - and loved - as a musician and a person speaks volumes about him, as well as his family, whose role in his life must not be overlooked. There are never enough good musicians in the world, let alone amazing ones. Losing Mr. Watkins is a tremendous loss for us all.
Wayne Blanchard 24 March, 2013
Our thoughts are with Wendy and family at this sad time. Thanks for the great music , you will be sadly missed and the trumpet playing world will not be the same without you. R.I.P Mr Trumpet
Eclipse Trumpets, Leigh Mckinney 24 March, 2013
I first heard Derek when I was 14. He was a great insparation to all musicians not just trumpet players.I have recently been given a James Last DVD Gentleman of Music, and it features a fablous solo by Derek. Tell Gabriel he has been demoted now that your up there
David 24 March, 2013
Thanks for your inspirational playing from which I gleaned many great things. From the ground-breaking position with James Last to all the myriad recordings that Derek made, I pay homage. I also thank him for showing me his fabulous warm-ups. My love and thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
Dennis Frere-Smith 24 March, 2013
A true legend of the UK session world. The Bond movie soundtracks won't be the same without those signature soaring notes. You will be sorely missed. R.I.P.
Charlie Morgan 24 March, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with Derek's family and friends first of all.The superb playing by the great man, is with us for ever, his great smile and gift for fun is what i will miss.So sad, RIP Derek.
Tony Adie 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek Watkins. Thanks for Your great playing. God has great plans for you along other great players.
Luis Ortiz 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek Watkins - Trumpeters new and old will be influenced by your great achievements for many decades to come. Great music, incredible playing precision, tremendous dedication and innovation and a sad loss for those who were fortunate enough to work with you and call you a friend.
Alan Bateman 24 March, 2013
In 2010 we had that crazy plan with our amateur bigband. The unpossible wish of our trumpetplayers was to play with the greatest trumpetplayer of the world, Derek Watkins. Eef and Rita Albers arranged it and Derek came to Holland to play with us together with Jan Oosthof on the Jazzfestival of Amersfoort.it was a once in a life experience. Our small party the day before we will never forget. Thanks for the beautiful music! RIP Emil Scheerder
On The Move, Emil Scheerder 24 March, 2013
I was privileged to have played with Derek on many occasions in the studios and at Ronnies with John Dankworth's big band. We were on Kenny Wheelers Windmill Tilter together and I have NEVER heard anyone play the trumpet like Derek. He could pick it up cold and hit a super C dead on. He is a legend here in the States and he will be sorely missed. RIP my friend.
John Spooner 24 March, 2013
It was a Great plesure to hear him several Times playing on James last Tour. What a Great man !! Rest in Peace .....
Uwe Stein 24 March, 2013
The beautiful words below from so many people, show just how much Derek was loved & respected. It has been an honor to know such an incredible human being. Heaven is more joyous & melodious place now Derek has arrived. My condolences to Wendy and the rest of the Watkins family. RIP Derek !!!!!
Barrie Shaw 24 March, 2013
Derek, thank you very much for all the great songs you've ever played. The music industry must now do it with one of the best trumpet players less. Rest in peace.
Robbert Winters 24 March, 2013
It wasn't just the spectacular trumpet playing or the way he lead a brass section, it was the way he influenced the entire orchestra. A huge loss to the music business. RIP Mr Watkins
Steve Haynes 24 March, 2013
Privileged to have worked with Derek on several occasions..not in the brass section, usually out on my own as the 'squeezebox' player, but he always made me feel special and 'one of the crowd' even though I never was! He was a gentleman, a lover of music, and life...true legend...
Tracey Goldsmith 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek Watkins, you were an Insperation to all trumpeters and you were an amazing talent. You Will be missed.
Ricky Hunter 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek Watkins. Thanks a million for Your great playing. God wanted his lead trumpet back!
Anders Ellman 24 March, 2013
Great musician, person he will be sadly missed. We worked together many times and can still here him hitting the high notes. My sincere condolences to the family. RIP Derek
Martin Drover 24 March, 2013
One of the greatest of all time will be missed. Seek His peace: Phillipians 4:7
Bill Zeltman 24 March, 2013
As a student I hoped that one day I might meet and even work with Derek. Eventually I did and it was Awesome. His talent exceeded my imagination, he was an inspiration, he made me laugh and he gave me his time. He will always be with us. Thanks Derek.
Kevin Healy 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek.I have been a fan for many years just loved your playing,a world class player and a true Gent we will miss you Derek RIP,My thoughts are with you and Wendy and your children at this sad time.Say hi to Pat Halcox and Kenny Ball for me 3 great players gone to soon lots of love top man Richie,Trace and Becks xx
richie burns 24 March, 2013
Although I never had the great fortune to meet Derek, I have always been inspired by his playing. He will be missed by everyone. My heart goes out to his family and the musicians that worked with him. R.I.P
Dylan Herbert 24 March, 2013
As a James Bond and a James Last fan (and a trumpet player) I came to know who that guy was playing and having never been to England wanted to search him out if I went but alas that didn't happen. What a player...WOW...he can go to the other side with a smile on his face. Vale Derek
Lindsay Timms 24 March, 2013
For me, a James Bond movie (I have seen all 23) was synonymous with Derek's trumpet. Derek, you entertained and enthralled us with your mastery for the past 50 years. I am sure your trumpet playing will now keep engaged and thrilled all up there! Sohail from Pakistan
Sohail Anjum 24 March, 2013
Derek, the first time I heard you play was a revelation, a way of blowing I'd not heard before, it transcended trumpet. Awesome, an irreplaceable legend & lovely man. Thank you & RIP. X
Richard Sidwell 24 March, 2013
Try as I might, over many years I never managed to write a chart which Derek couldn't play with consumate ease. The raised eyebrow - 'up the octave?', the gales of laughter that enlivened every session and the wonderful support he gave to everyone will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family, who will of course miss so much more.
Tony Britten 24 March, 2013
Rest in peace Derek. An inspirational person, musician and Trumpet player. The times I worked with you was a dream come true. Thoughts to your family at this sad time.
Darren Lloyd 24 March, 2013
I never met Derek personally, but will miss him. I feel honoured that he is part of my YouTube clip with the Allan Ganley Legacy Band and pleased to be able to hear him still on albums. see http://tinyurl.com/AG-Legacy Thank you Derek for all you brought to my life.
Gordon Sapsed 24 March, 2013
RIP Derek, Have fond memories of youwhen you joined George Watkins band at 17 years old at The Majestic Ballroom in Reading , your home town.we spent our Saturday Evenings dancing to a fine band. Have followed your career ever since . Condolences also on behalf of Arthur Hands , who was the drummer in the band. Heaven has finally got a lead Trumpet !!
DERYK TAYLOR 24 March, 2013
God Bless Derek.. you have been an inspiration to so many people with your amazing talent and musicianship. Will miss nipping in to studio 3 MV to hear you play with the Big Band !! Rest in Peace X
Gareth Bimson 24 March, 2013
My mentor, my inspiration…..and most all, my friend! Love you to bits mate!! xxxxx
Gavin Mallett 24 March, 2013
very sorry to hear of your loss,derek was my dads cousin,dereks mum was my grandads sister,just told my dad,he is trying to get in touch to pay his repects,once again a great trumpet player,if not he was the best rest in peace love from craig chapman and family
craig chapman 24 March, 2013
As a trumpet/cornet player, Derek's playing has inspired me all of my life, and a total legend! Sadly, I only ever got to listen to Derek on recordings, and tv. My dearest condolences to Derek's family. The world of music will never be the same without him. RIP Derek.
David Coates 24 March, 2013
I didn't know Derek except in his work. I'm a professional Trumpet player and have been playing for 46 years. I think we all share a common brotherhood as musicians and we all feel the loss of one of us. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. We will all remember him each time we hear a Bond Soundtrack.
Corey Swinderman 24 March, 2013
Derek bleibt unvergessen, habe ihn oft bei der James Last Tour erlebt. My Way Derek Danke für alles
Helmut Wegener 24 March, 2013
Even though I never knew Mr Watkins I admired the ethos he portrayed of perfection comes from work, experience, practise, dedication,love of music and the ability to play without inhibitions. RIP
Rob Bartlett 24 March, 2013
I will never forget the sitsprobe for KISS ME KATE. I was blown away by the huge amount of talent in that band. Boy could they swing! Shining through the whole lot of them however was the legend that was Derek Watkins. He was truly special. He's up there somewhere playing a duet with Gabriel and kicking his butt. Rest in peace Mr. Watkins.
Mark Heenehan 24 March, 2013
Derek has been and will continue to be a massive influence on music and musicians all over the world.A true legend!Thanks for the music and laughs Derek!
phil hawkes 24 March, 2013
Even though I never met Derek, hearing about such a wonderful man through Ellie and you Wendy I would have loved to have met him. Love to you all at this hard time heaven has got a wonderful trumpet player The Baldwinsxxxxx
Emma Baldwin 24 March, 2013
Legend. He will be part of so many more peoples lives, even though they may not know it. I hope Derek's family take some comfort from this. RIP
Greg 24 March, 2013
Thank You for Your music. Thank You for beeing inspiration for so many years. You will allways be remembered. My thoughts to the family. Rest in peace Mr. Watkins
Marko Djordjevic 24 March, 2013
our deepest sympathy to you wendy we will always be grateful for the help and love you and derek gave to madalaine at her sad time of sorrow
gordon and maureen reeves 24 March, 2013
It's amazing how one man can have such an affect on so many people. His playing was out of this world.. A true inspiration to everyone who heard him play.. RIP Derek xx
Jim Davies 24 March, 2013
I didn't know Derek that well, but feel I have lost a friend too. I did a few sessions with him over the years, but the albums I owned that he played so brilliantly on made me feel close to him. Thoughts to Wendy & family. Thank you Derek :-)
Paul Robinson 24 March, 2013
I only worked with Derek a handful of times, in the latter years of his life. Apart from being inspired by his enormous talent, I was always impressed how he treated others as his equal. A great loss to the music business and a great loss to the human race.
Colin Porteous 24 March, 2013
What a legend Derek was. Such an amazing player and such a lovely man aswell. I remember he sent me an email regarding lessons, and my first thoughts were what a nice man. He will be truly missed!
Simon Gray 24 March, 2013
Condolences to the family and Derek's many friends. I only had the pleasure of playing behind Derek a couple of times. Once was in the Albert Hall, when Maurice Murphy came to watch, just to see Derek play. More important to me is the high regard that many of my trumpet friends have of Derek, his work and his advice and friendship to them. I've never heard a bad word said about him, and that is rare in the world of music making! Rest in Peace Mr Lead, you've brought wonderment and inspiration to so many over the years.
Andy Cattanach 24 March, 2013
Happy landings Derek. A truly great player, friend and companion. Wendy we're all thinking of you and the family.
Terry Johns 24 March, 2013
A true inspiration to a generation of musicians. God bless and thoughts with the family..
Ray Meadham 24 March, 2013
Be sure of this Wendy and family Derek has moved on but will remain in all our hearts and memories for the ret of our lives.
Don Smith 24 March, 2013
Rest in peace Derek. You were an inspiration to all musicians, not just trumpet players and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to play and hang out with you!!! A true legend and genuinely lovely man xxx.
Chris Fidler 24 March, 2013
So sorry to hear the terrible news. He will be missed everywhere. Trumpet playing wont be the same without him.
John Hammond 24 March, 2013
R.I.P. Derek. Sleep well. All my prayers are with you Wendy and your family.
Sheila Talbot 24 March, 2013
My condolances go out to the family, I wish you a lot of strength in these dark days. I've enjoyed Derek's artistry very much for many years, I salute him for that!
Erwin Dijkstra 24 March, 2013
Dear Wendy and family. I am so sorry to hear of Derek's passing. It has been a pleasure to get to know you all over the past months. I shall miss Derek terribly. My thoughts are with you all at this time x x x
Annie Foreman 24 March, 2013
As soon as you heard the first note you knew it was Derek behind the horn. That sound , his sizzle , the pop of every note and that unique shimmer that made him the most lyrical player I ever heard . Sorely missed , can never be replaced or emulated ………the “best of the best” RIP Derek
MLV 24 March, 2013
I'm sure Derek is now upstairs getting ready to play with buddy rich and Louie bellson again...... Heaven will be swinging
Andy Goodchild 24 March, 2013
Still in shock that the music business has lost a true legend. Here is a musician whose talent and sheer musicality will never be replaced. Having never met or knew Derek personally, I've still got an impression of what a true gent he was by the comments left on media sites by those that did. RIP Derek. My thoughts and condolences to Wendy and family.
Paul Jones 24 March, 2013
it will never be the same without Derek. He was the master of trumpetplaying for all of us, a great example and a great person. R.I.P Derek.
Jan van der Scheer 24 March, 2013
Thank you DEREK for so many recordings and performances, your music will live forever. - R.I.P - always in our heart.
Hartmut Monk 24 March, 2013
My condolences to the whole family. Thank you for the music Mr. Watkins. RIP
Johan ter Burg 24 March, 2013
One of the best ever not only as a musician but as a person will never forget him for covering my back once at a gig in Berlin, sadly not many like him left!He will be sadly missed and never replaced.
Eric Wight 24 March, 2013
Mr Watkins était un incroyable musicien et l'un des plus grand trompettiste de tout les temps. Il nous manquera , sincères condoléances à tout la famille .
Guy Ryckenbusch 24 March, 2013
I would like to send my condolence to the family ,Derek was a true legend he is at rest now playing to the Angels no more pain R.I.P Derek
Steve Bourne 24 March, 2013
Sad news, a great loss to the world of music and to all us music lovers, deepest condolences. Thoughts and prayers with family and loved ones.
christine whitnall 24 March, 2013
One of the greatest will be missed in the world of music. A wonderfull man and musican is gone. Sincere wishes to Wendy and his familiy in this heavy time. Derek, we´ll miss you
Harald Gawol 24 March, 2013
Rest in peace Derek. You are a huge inspiration to so many, and will be for generations to come. We've all grown up with your distinctive sound: from James Bond, gathering around phones/youtube in the pub to listen to 'My Way' for the 1000th time (the lyricism and THAT fat Double D), the way that you were such a defining feature of Kenny Wheeler's sound world and for shaping the role of the lead player into something so rounded. I had the pleasure of playing with Derek once, at the Jim Watson memorial concert, and I can't describe how excited I was after years of listening to his records and films over and over! I'll never forget how his sound just filled the Duke's Hall. My thoughts are with his family and those who are close to him.
Tommy Andrews 24 March, 2013
Only knew Derek through recordings after being introduced to his music some 25 years. What a musician and it appears, from others who knew him personally, what a man. At a sad time like this, one positive is that those recordings will last forever. My thoughts with Mrs Watkins and the family.
Steve Wearne 24 March, 2013
A wonderful, happy man and a fantastic musician. He will surely liven up the Band of Angels.
Annie Dexter 24 March, 2013
Derek will be so missed in the world of music. Sincere wishes to Wendy & family at this time.
John Brennan 24 March, 2013
You were an Inspiration to so many of us, you'll be missed but not forgotten.
Martyn Harries 24 March, 2013
A wonderful man and an incredible musician. Sending my love to his family.
Alan Emslie 24 March, 2013
Really shocked to hear of the death of Derek. An inspiration to trumpet players everywhere.
Ron Carr 24 March, 2013
i loved Derek at FirstBrass he was 1 of a kind...! I had a lot of great moments listning to his music a fan from Holland
Hayco de Kroon 24 March, 2013
Derek brought so many wonderfull music in our life and left us with a treasure of memories. His music will life on forever. R.I.P. Derek.
Harry van der Veen 24 March, 2013
The world has lost one of the finest musicians of our time, I am too from the 'Brass Band' world, a James Bond Fan and a great admirer of Derek's work, when I heard him play 'Playing By Heart' at John Barry's Memorial Concert he made it his own and we exchanged e-mails over this. What a Wonderful and sweet man this world has now lost. My sincere Condolences to his family & friends. Remember this, they said John Barry left a legacy and now so has Derek in all those wonderful recordings, God Bless you and Rest in Peace Derek.
Graham Sutton 24 March, 2013
A great loss to Derek's family and all the musos, composers and arrangers that had the honour to work with him. And Derek wasn't only about nailing top Fs not so well-known is that he was a really tasteful and sensitive flugelhorn player, and contributed some wonderful flugel solos to tracks of mine. And a "horse-whinny" when needed on a comedy track! Truly musical, and a true musician and character. He will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Derek.
John Fiddy 24 March, 2013
A hero to trumpet players around the World - such a loss at such a young age. I hope it helps Derek's family to know he is mourned by so many people who respected him. Simon and Alison Porter.
Simon Porter 24 March, 2013
This is a moment when one feels all the greats are leaving us...my late husband Jack would always mention Derek's great playing and wonderful musicality and courage to speak his mind when he came home from the many sessions they played together. They alwaus planned to go fishing together, but it never happened..too busy playing James Bond!!
Linn Rothstein 24 March, 2013
Meeting Derek for the first time was a big deal for me as a nervous young trumpet player and it meant such a lot that he was friendly and encouraging, and happy to chat for a few minutes. Since then I worked with and for him many times, for which I am immensely proud. His boundless enthusiasm for playing great music, his professionalism, sharp wit and spirit has been a joy to witness and I will hold my memories of him very close. Bravo Derek Watkins
Nathan Bray 24 March, 2013
All of us who have worked with Derek were fortunate to have been in the company of one of the worlds greatest trumpet players. I count myself as being very honoured to have experienced his amazing musicianship always conveyed with great humour and laughter. God Bless you Derek. Our thoughts are with Wendy and family.
Clive Dunstall 24 March, 2013
Dear family, Í'm very sad to hear that Derek passed away and I would like to offer my condolences to you. I had the privilege to work with Derek a couple of times in Holland with the AVRO Skymasters Bigband,we had a lot of fun musically and socialwise. I will always remember him as a wonderful person and trumpetplayer. I wish you all the best and good strength. Pieter van den Dolder Trombonist Skymasters Bigband
Pieter van den Dolder 24 March, 2013
So sorry to hear of the passing of Derek, he was an inspiration and tales of him from my grandad who played in Spring Gardens inspired me to learn cornet. There was many a time that I would scrutinise a brass ensemble on TV looking out for him. His music lives on.
Andrea Teasdale 23 March, 2013
I suddenly realise that if I had not been inspired by Derek when I was seventeen I would not have gone on to be a pro tpt player and would not have met my beautiful wife of 30 years and had two wonderful kids and a great life! Wow....thankyou Derek. Xxxx
Graham Russell 23 March, 2013
I was fortunate in working with Derek with the James Last Orchestra for over 30 years. The choir songs usually followed his solos, so I rushed to change costume in order to be at the side of the stage to watch & listen in wonder. I was also fortunate that he included me among his friends. I would often receive an anonymous text with a totally un-PC joke, and I knew it had come from Derek. In the last few weeks I have been struck by the strength of the bonds in his family a strength they all need now. I can do nothing more than send them all love, and be here if they need to talk. God bless one & all.
Simon Bell 23 March, 2013
I am deeply saddened to hear of Derek's passing. His wonderful playing can be heard on so much of my work, most recently and brilliantly with Symphonic Metal doyens Nightwish. Derek eased into any genre and always elevated the records to greater heights. Derek and Maurice are now a formidable pair, at peace. R.I.P. Derek!
Pip Williams 23 March, 2013
Very sad to hear of Derek's death. Journey done, may he be with the Lord now. You're all in our thoughts and prayers at Our Lady of Lourdes this weekend.
Fr. Rob Esdaile 23 March, 2013
It was always a great pleasure to work with Derek. He had innate musicianship - he never just played the notes, he knew instinctively what to do with them. I'll miss his unceasing good humour,enthusiasm and his laugh of course! Some people make the world a better place.
Anne Dudley 23 March, 2013
Our love to you Wend at you sad loss, and to Sarah, Ellie and Sean, partners and grandchildren, Derek - husband, dad, grandad will be very sadly missed. You will have tears, and you will have laughter, and you will have memories. Lots of love, Debbie, Brad and also Rachael, Luke and baby Pennie from Oz xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ps I hope to be back in England in time, Deb xxxx
Debbie and Brad Dauncey 23 March, 2013
Derek, I am nearly fifty and you gave me 43 years of my life so much extra joy with your beautiful sound of your trumpet or bugle. No it is showtime in heaven Thanks ... My most sincere condolence to the family. Jack Smale
Jack Smale 23 March, 2013
As a brass freak true my work as a brass technician. I follow many of the world greatest and even made a website about www.moviebrass.com. in that combination i had the pleasure and fortune to meet some of my idols and derek was one of them. Hearing the recording live in london of casino royal on invitation of peter davis was very special. I made some t-shirts with the website logo as a gift for the brass and derek in the middle of the studio took his clothes of and put it on. So funny. I heard some amazing tracks repeated by derek. The orchestra gave him a applause after hitting the same high frase over and over again. And me goosebumps to the roof. I asked derek to come to our dutch trumpetparty but sadly he never cant now. He would have inspired many people for sure if he coul have done it overhere. Anyway, a sad day for his family and friends and brasslovers world wide. But most of all himself because i know he was not done in this time... but let hope he has some fun were ever he is. Derek r.i.p.
marcel schot 23 March, 2013
As a brass freak true my work as a brass technician. I follow many of the world greatest and even made a website about www.moviebrass.com. in that combination i gad the pleasure and fortune to meet some of my idols and derek was one of them. Hearing the recording live in london of casino royal on invitation of peter davis was a very special. I made some t-shirt with the website logo as a gift for the brass and derek in the middle of the studio took his clothes of and put it on. So funny. I heard some amazing tracks repeated by derek. The orchestra gave him a applause after hitting the same high frase over and over again. And me goosebumps to the roof. I asked derek to come to our dutch trumpetparty but sadly he never cant now. He would he inspired many people for sure if he could gave done it overhere. Anyway, a sad day for his family and friends and brasslovers world wide. But most of all himself because i know he was not done in this time... but let hope he has some fun were ever he is. Derek r.i.p.
marcel schot 23 March, 2013
Luckily I was a member of the RNCM Big Band when Derek performed as guest soloist What a great player and what a nice guy. It was a privilage to have met him.
GAZ 23 March, 2013
Lost touch with Derek but we were boyhood friends and played in bands together in fact he got his first top F in my front room emulating Ray Copeland on a Johnny Richards LP (Derek promptly fainted on the settee!!). He used to cycle home at lunchtime from his first job to sit on the stairs and practise before returning for the afternoon. His dad said he should concentrate on his job and not suffer any illusions about making the trumpet a career. Derek replied," There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a professional musician!!" Obviously not! Gabriel certainly has some competition now. Mike Lambden
Michael Lambden 23 March, 2013
Derek's incomparable trumpet playing was matched by his laughter, gales of it, ringing round the studio, enlivening us all. His love of fun was matched by his love of music - he inspired us - and we are much the poorer for his passing. RIP Derek.x
David Firman 23 March, 2013
We are both so sorry to hear of Derek's passing. Our thoughts are with Wendy and family. We have many great memories of fun times in Menorca. Heaven has gained a great trumpeter and lovely man.
Willie & Roberta Moore 23 March, 2013
It was always fantastic working with Derek. HE WAS THE BEST, A TRUE LEGEND, and a really good friend to me.
stuart Brooks 23 March, 2013
My first session was for Bob Hartley at Lansdown for 321, I was so nervous and didn't think I belonged, thought maybe it was to soon. As the session went on and even though all the guys on the session were lovely (Tony Fisher, Alan Downy, Andy Mac, Paul Keough, Harold Fisher, Trevor Brown, Don Lusher etc) It was Derek that invited me over to the castle with them, he was encouraging and made me feel I belonged. I know he did the same to many other players of my generation. Thank you Derek, you will be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts are with Wendy and the family. x
Trevor Barry 23 March, 2013
Yus.......I've been a very lucky and blessed boy in my life so far.... From my very first 'proper' session, some 30+ years ago, Derek Watkins has played lead trumpet on the majority of them.....His energy has taught me, saved my reputation (literally!), calmed me down, got me through the biggest of roast-ups, made me laugh out loud, made my soul sing!, given me courage, determination, confidence in my playing, attitude, and taught me how to focus attention on the finest detail of the music to be played.....He, of course, was just Derek....The very finest......I have been dreading his death from the first time I heard of his illness, two years ago......But what a life!...He seized life with both hands and lived it to the full....I loved being in his presence....If he walked into the studio, it was always gonna be great.....I will play in all the places we have played together over the years, again, quite soon, no doubt.....His beautiful spirit will always be in the walls, I will always hear his laugh and his energy will be with me always...... I will always treasure the fact that I played the bottom note, as he played the exquisite top note on the final chord on so many records, film scores, concerts, TV shows, theatre shows, big band gigs et al.... I am truly blessed to have lived and played with him in my lifetime, I will carry his spirit with me forever....... ps I'm gonna look for him in the next life, that's for sure! X
Steve Pearce 23 March, 2013
My condolences to the whole family, Derek you will be missed you were and still are a hero to all us trumpet players
Richard Mclaughlin 23 March, 2013
So sorry to hear of Derek's passing even those not familiar with the name would almost certainly have heard (or have in their collections) some of his signature trumpet work. Sincere condolences to the family and close friends of the great man.
Ross Muir, Prestwick 23 March, 2013
Derek has inspired me from a young age, not only with his trumpet playing but the fact that he was admired by so many for being a wonderful person. I am deeply saddened by the loss of the greatest trumpet hero of all time and wish I could have had the pleasure of meeting him. My condolences to Wendy and the Watkins family. M
Matt Parkinson 23 March, 2013
I'm truly a great fan, and loved al his work. A great loss for the trumpet community. My most sincere condolence to the family.
Jurgen Feskens 23 March, 2013
Man that guy could blow , a sad loss to this world . Our condolences to Wendy and the family at this very sad time. RIP Derek
Brian and Laura Moore 23 March, 2013
Derek was a true legend and a massive credit to his profession he will be sorely missed please accept my deepest condolences. Colin & Family xxx
Colin Layfield 23 March, 2013
Derek was a professional's professional. He touched my life through his immense inspiration every time I heard him play. My sincerest condolences to his family and dear friends.
Alan Lewis 23 March, 2013
My most sincere condolence to the family of the greater trumpet player of all time, you will be missed, I'm from venezuela and I been always amazed of your sound since I saw for the first time a James Bond Movie, you has been an inspiration for every trumpet player around the and you will be forever. Rest in Peace master.
Raul Agraz 23 March, 2013
Derek was a pleasure to work with. A true pro and a great guy. His talent blew me away on sessions !
Adrian Sear 23 March, 2013
Derek...we're all gonna miss you big time...so sad Condolences to wendy and family.
Phil "the fireplace" 23 March, 2013
My sincere condolences for this immense loss. Mister Derek Watkins:You were and will always be my biggest inspiration. You could generate real emotion through your music,as no one has ever done! Thanks for the music. Rest in peace. chris
Chris De Smet 23 March, 2013
With great respect and heart felt condolences to Derek's family. Really a hero!
Andrew Spence 23 March, 2013
To Derek's whole family, I did not know Derek personally but as a trumpet player, I knew him well. He was one of the absolute best trumpet players who ever graced this planet. How much he will be missed by so many! May God comfort all of us who have suffered this monumental loss, but especially those who were so close to him. Now, at least God has someone who can sub for Gabriel!
Michael Cichowicz 23 March, 2013
Dad, jokes over, you can come back now - I think the Angels have had a long enough lesson. Love you so much and miss you so much already. My hero xxxxxxxxxxx
Ellie Watkins 23 March, 2013
As a small boy in the 80's I remember hearing the massive tune Into Miami after the title credits of Goldfinger. The first time I heard it I knew I wanted to play the trumpet desperately, it completely fascinated me at such a young age and I eventually got my wish. At the time I didn't know who was playing and it wasn't until years later I found out who it was playing on that sound track. I owe Derek absolutely everything. I wouldn't play the trumpet if it hadn't been for him in that clip. He never knew the impact that playing had on me but I'll always be grateful to him. Deepest condolences to his family, you will be sadly missed but your legacy will live on
Jamie 23 March, 2013
Dear Wendy, Derek is now at peace, my sincere condolences to you and your family. His Star will be the brightest in the universe!
Denny Wise 23 March, 2013
Much has been written about Derek in the hours since we learned of his passing. His mastery of his instrument, the iconic sound of his trumpet on every James Bond score from Dr. No up to and including Skyfall. His generous & unstinting mentoring of so many trumpet players, myself included. His generosity of spirit, his humour, his integrity and humility and his love for his family and friends. All true. I have only this to add. Of the many people I have had the good fortune to work with over the years, the most impressed my Dad would be was when I could report that Derek had been on the session. The Bond theme will never sound the same again. I shall miss him greatly. Heartfelt condolences and our love to Wendy Watkins and the wonderful Watkins family. X
Chris Cozens 23 March, 2013
Such a sad loss! Derek's music and fun will always be in our memories especially at each of the James Last concerts we are attending in the next few weeks. Our condolence to all the family.
Vic & Mo (JLAS) 23 March, 2013
Bon voyage, derek - give my love to maynard when you meet him! I knew your dad, ted, very well - we worked together at rbc in reading. Take care, mate!
dennis jones 23 March, 2013
I will miss you Derek and will remember all the wonderful times recording you and the usual suspects at Lansdowne and CTS studios.
Chris Dibble 23 March, 2013
The world is a sadder place without the Guv'nor of the trumpet world. Your soaring tones will live on, and provide inspiration for generations of trumpet players to come. Bond films will never be quite the same again. You will be missed.
Ben Crowhurst 23 March, 2013
I will continue to listen to his voice through his discography present in my home. I started listening to his trumpet I was a boy. Felt condolences to the family, Enzo
Enzo Antonio D'Avanzo 23 March, 2013
Derek was the best of the best I have been inspired by Derek's playing for over 30 years , I had the pleasure of spending a day in Derek's company a couple of years ago in southport on a gig and after in the bar I can still recall the hangover the next day but it was worth it , the brass world will never be the same without mr lead , my thoughts are with Wendy and the family at this sad time . Cliff Ray
Clifford Ray 23 March, 2013
The musical world lost a great ambassador yesterday. The greatest of trumpet players and a massive inspiration to us all, who dare to pick up a musical instrument! Derek Watkins the trumpet Legend. Wendy Watkins But as Simon Gardner so rightly says, "he's not really gone. He never will be for those who knew and loved him!" "Seek for your resting place not in the earth, but in the hearts of men. (RUMI) Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time. (HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW) Derek, mission accomplished!! Thank you for everything. I have learned SO much from yourself and your incredible wife, Wendy, despite only meeting you three times and Wendy not at all! God Bless you both and all the family! xx
John Barker 23 March, 2013
Derek and his music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My thoughts are with Dereks family during this sad time. Always remembered Derek. RIP
Martyn Yorke 23 March, 2013
A very sad day – hearing the news Derek Watkins passed away. But as a fan of the James Last Orchestra I will Derek always remember as a marvellous trumpetsoloist in My Way or Mac Arthur Park. Thank You For The Music, Derek. My condolences to his wife, childeren and grandchildren.
Piet Hemminga 23 March, 2013
Britain's 'lead' trumpet player. Never got to meet or work with him, but such an inspiration to me! RIP Derek.
Tony Waller 23 March, 2013
Such a sad loss to all that came into contact with the man and his music. A true inspiration.
Mike West 23 March, 2013
I was very sad when I heard the news that Derek had died. He was a supreme musician and truly inspirational trumpet player.
Roy Waite 23 March, 2013
I've always said the high spot of a James Bond film was always listening to Derek's playing. RIP a unique, great talent.
Mike Tilley 23 March, 2013
I was really saddened to hear of Derek's passing this morning. A genuine legend. I went to watch him play many times, from freelancing to James Last tours, and as a James Bond fanatic, the franchise has lost not only its leading Trumpet for half a century but a link in history at the same time. Rest in peace.
Chris Wormald 23 March, 2013
I have wonderful memories of Derek from my early years as an orchestral librarian at BBC TV Centre, when attending sessions in Lime Grove studios for recording music for light entertainment shows. I was in awe of the musicians performing (who were already my heroes from my record collection), and I remember well the trumpet section on many occasions being the amazing Stan Roderick, and Tony Fisher, and a young Derek Watkins on the third chair. I also remember Stan passing several trumpet 1 parts to Derek to take the lead - paticularly if there was any "screaming" to be done not that Stan couldn't have handled it, or Tony, but he recognised Derek's talent and wanted to advance his career. Derek also played on some of my arrangements later on, and as everyone has pointed out, not only was he a brilliant musician, but also a really nice, friendly and good-humoured guy. Like many others, I feel privileged to have known him, and I send my deepest sympathy and condolences to Wendy and his family. They've got a formidable big band in heaven now, what with Derek Wadsworth and Barry Morgan et al!
Mike Townend 23 March, 2013
I was very sad to hear of your loss, I first met Derek when working at Phil Parkers in the mid 80's. His sense of humour and warmth shone throughout all my meetings, those bond soundtracks will never sound the same again! My thoughts and prayers are with the Watkins family at this time.
Chris Mackey 23 March, 2013
What a great Person. I've lost a great friend. Can't say more, right now.
Andy Mackintosh 23 March, 2013
Thank you for your music and inspiration. The world is a much better place for your time on it.
Gareth Cottrell 23 March, 2013
Although i don't know Derek personally I have been inspired by his playing and awestuck by his musicianship and warmth. A huge loss to British music and his identity is forever stamped on the bond films. My thoughts go out to his family.
Adrian Gibson 23 March, 2013
God bless and keep dear Derek. You inspired this young Salvation Army bandsman in a way no other player or teacher has. The highpoint of my career was sitting next to you on one show in the US. A true gentleman, kind and the greatest player I have ever heard. My best wishes and prayers for the Watkins family.
George Rawlin 23 March, 2013
Derek was part of my growing up. He worked with my dad Tommy Reilly on many movies and sessions and then when I started in the business, on my sessions too. Derek was unflappable in all musical melees, because he was such a prodigious talent. Personally what I like to remember about him, apart from his virtuosity, was his smile and his kindness to young composers who like me, were often flying by the seat of their pants. He was a great musician and a lovely man. So glad to have known you. xxx
David Reilly 23 March, 2013
I was very fortunate to work with Derek on numerous occasions. While his resume and reputation were extremely intimidating, his personality was completely the opposite. He was always enthusiastic and complimentary and had a very gentle way of offering suggestions while being completely respectful of the music I had written. I remember him once offering to play a melody up the octave, which confused me because to my understanding the trumpet range didn't go nearly that high. Sure enough, he pulled it off as if it were no big thing. I remember turning to Andrew Dudman and saying "I didn't think the trumpet could play that high" to which Andrew replied "It can't, but that's Derek Watkins". His musicianship was extraordinary, but even better was that he had the personality to match it. I was very sad to hear of his passing. He will be greatly missed. Sincerely, Andrew Lockington
Andrew Lockington 23 March, 2013
I first met Derek in the mid 70's with the Alyn Ainsworth orchestra, he always had time for a chat, he was a gentleman with humility and compassion and encouraging in every way to anything trumpet, he was admired by all, my sympathies to Wendy and the whole family. RIP Derek
Jan Zawada 23 March, 2013
God bless you Derek, it was your playing on James Bond that made me fall in love with the trumpet, your inspiration for my life in Australia and England and for everyone around the world is endless and you will never be out of our thoughts or lives. I am sure your music will forever live in generations to come. Thank you for everything. X
Ben Beavis 23 March, 2013
I'm a percussionist from Ireland who had the pleasure of hearing Derek on a masterclass at the RNCM many years ago. As somebody who lives with two trumpet players, I had the pleasure of listening to his many recordings with sheer awe. A man I didn't know but 'knew' through his music. I hope one day I'll have the pleasure of playing with him in the 'big band in the sky'! Best wishes to the Watkins family. Xxxx
Peadar Townsend 23 March, 2013
I have lovely memories of working with Derek on many West End musicals - a terrific man and a wonderful player, not to mention the best of raconteurs post-show!
Ba Penney 23 March, 2013
I've known Derek since 1996 and ever since then he never ceased to amaze me with stories of who he met,where he'd been in the world and the films he'd played on as Trumpet 1. I was so lucky in 2002 to sit next to Derek and the band while they recorded the score for the Bond film 'Die Another Day' at Air Lyndhurst - a truly amazing day and one I will never forget. This was a man who was loved and admired by so many people worldwide, brought joy to millions with his unique talent and is someone who will be hugely missed forever by everyone who knew him or heard his music. RIP Derek - it was a true privilege to know you X.
John Wall 23 March, 2013
We all will miss Derek Watkins. He was the best trumpet player ever. We will keep him in our hearts forever. Derek - thank you for the music.
Peter Gertsch 23 March, 2013
I shall always remember your coming up for Sunday afternoon tea etc. with your LP collection strapped to the pillion of your Paloma Moped,I thank you for opening my eyes to the world of Jazz.Our deepest sympathy to you Wendy and your family
Steve Watling 23 March, 2013
I never had the opportunity to meet this kind, generous, talented gentleman. But for 50 years of my life his musical contributions serenaded my soul through his brillant work on the James Bond movies. When I contacted Mr Watkins several years ago through the mail to express my appreciation of his work, he replied with a three-page handwritten letter sharing stories about his fascinating career and a personal invitation to me "to share a beer together" should I ever get back to the UK. I regret I never had that opportunity but everyone will always have his music.
Steve Oxenrider 23 March, 2013
When I was a boy I used to play my trumpet and pretend to be Derek Watkins. I am honoured to have known and worked with him and his memory will live on. My thoughts are with Wendy and the family this weekend. RIP Derek x
Simon Barnes 23 March, 2013
I remember well playing with a number of TV Big Bands in the late 60's and early 70's. And being a young man at that time I was always in awe to be playing with all the amazing musicians I had grown up listening to. I remember very well that Derek appeared to be the topic of many conversations amongst the 'musos'. He was also quite young yet he stood out as one-off even though he was playing amongst the best Brass players in the business. Looking back now I am humbled to have been present and to have been in the same ensemble as this great man on the occasions that I was. May God bless him and his family and be with them in their moment of grief. RIP Derek I wish I had got to have known you better.
Mark Goodwin 23 March, 2013
I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Trumpet Maestro and Mr Lead, the legend that is Derek Watkins.... just looking at all the Facebook tributes will make anyone realise the love and respect and awe that is shown for Derek as a man and as the most amazing Trumpet player. The amount of posts, comments and awesome videos that have been shared is just amazing.... RIP Derek
Stuart Jenkins 23 March, 2013
Fond memories of playing together in the Alan Grahame Big Band. A truly inspirational player.
Roger Davis 23 March, 2013
I consider myself extremely fortunate indeed to have played with Derek on quite a few sessions in the past. At a time when the words "awesome', "legend" and "genius" are used casually, liberally and nearly always without justification, I think that today we can safely say that Derek - as a man, musician and a memory - can lay claim to all those words, and more. My deepest sympathy to his family.
Paul Townsend 23 March, 2013
Very sad to hear about Derek. Only played with him on a couple of occasions but they are definitely some of the most amazing and inspiring experiences I'll ever have. A really lovely man who I will remember fondly.
Patrick Hayes 23 March, 2013
The messages speak of a great person who will live on in the hearts of every person, who had the privilege to work with Derek. What an influence the person and the trumpet player has been and indeed live on. May the love and support surround Wendy and the family.
Ian Alderton 23 March, 2013
The best and then some !!! You stood head and shoulders above some great players...You're going to be missed Derek. My sympathies are with Wendy and your family. R.I.P Mate
Bruce Adams 23 March, 2013
Remembering, a truly amazing and inspirational man, he was a truly devoted family man loved so much by his family, and yet loved by everyone who ever listened to his music and worked him. His smile and wonderful laugh will remain in my memory forever, he was taken much too soon, and will be missed by so many, my heart is with his family who were with him every minute of last weeks, and they truly are a wonderful family, my live is with you all xx
Julie moss 23 March, 2013
Derek was the Trumpet player supreme. Thanks for all the sounds. You will be missed.
David Bourne 23 March, 2013
Derek blessed every orchestra pit in the West End that had the joy of having him amongst the ranks, his musicianship and professionalism being an example to us all. He leaves behind a sound that will be remembered for years to come. I was just lucky enough a few times to hear that sound ringing around the auditorium and for that moment it made the theatre a better place to be. God bless you Derek. My love and thoughts to Wendy and the family.
Stephen Brooker 23 March, 2013
His fantastic way of playing trumpet and flügelhorn will always be with me. My best wishes to his family. R.I.P. Derek.
Herman Gerards 23 March, 2013
Very sad that Derek has passed away. My best wishes to his family and friends who supported him so well. He was the best of the best.
Kieran McLeod 23 March, 2013
Thank you for what you did for music buisness. Thank you for beeing such a great trumpet player and a inspiration to all of us playing this instrument. R.I.P Mr Watkins.
Morten Bekkevold 23 March, 2013
Derek was the definitive lead trumpet player with a sound that I have never heard from any other trumpet player. I only met him a couple of times but fondly remember his character and great sense of humor. The music world will miss you enormously Derek, but you have left us with a sound in our heads that will be passed on for generations to come. Gabriel just got moved to second chair!
Eddie Severn 23 March, 2013
Every Bond Movie, every airing of those Beatles songs, every Pearl and Dean outing, we will think of Derek. but more than that, a lovely man with a wonderful family. I hope heaven has facebook account so that he can read how much he was loved and admired. I wish I'd known him better than time we spent on the many sessions he did for us. Derek went to the pub with the fun guys....I had to carry on working with the bloody client or some dodgy singers like Garner and de Sykes. X
David Mindel 23 March, 2013
Many years ago, and many years before my friend Vaughan Armon died. Vaughan played an LP to me on his swanky turntable. It was 'Nelson's Column Live at the Lord Nelson'. The playing on this album is quite frankly - and in my humble opinion - almost impossible to imagine being improved upon. But it was Derek's solo playing on 'We've only just begun' that knocked me for six. The power, sensitivity, humour, tone and range are more than you could ever dream of from any musical instrument played by anyone. Since then, of course I've become more familiar with Derek's staggering abilities - which will be missed by the music profession worldwide. My small experience of being in Derek's company is something I will always treasure and the sound of Derek's playing will never leave me. So. I wish Wendy and the family well and hope that the pain of the loss which you must feel so much more than I turns into pure pride. Derek was and is a shining star. God bless him. x
Perry Montague-Mason 23 March, 2013
Ever present in our musical lifescape, your playing has inspired countless trumpet players, the world over, to try to fulfil their potential. That wonderful sound, the essence of James Bond. I was one of the lucky ones to have been able to play in a section next to him. Just beautiful, making the impossible seem easy. Thank you.
Peter Rudeforth 23 March, 2013
every day i pick up my trombone and strive to reach the the dizzy heights that has been achieved by the great Derek Watkins... today that inspiation has been taken away....but still wont stop me striving to be as good as i can be ....RIP Derek
Dave Short 23 March, 2013
A Trumpet players Trumpet player....... We only met a few times, but I will always remember him as a true Gent... His name is synonymous with quality Music - and one of the few Trumpet Giants that will never be forgotten.
Don Owen 23 March, 2013
You will be sadly missed all over the world, but your legendary trumpet player will be remembered forever. Thoughts are with your family so sorry for your loss.. Trumpeters of Northern Ireland.
Wendy Weatherup 23 March, 2013
The world has lost a true Gentleman of jazz. It was a great honour to have known you and a privledge to say that I played with you. RIP Derek there will never be another you.
Noel Kerr 23 March, 2013
Ever since hearing Derek whilst at school, Derek has been a hero and a standard bearer. He will be sorely missed by all, that goes without saying, but as long as we all remember what made him the star he was, Derek will always be with us and our lives will be the richer for it. X
Mike Hamnett 23 March, 2013
Very early on in my session career, I was nervous, and apprehensive, doing a session with live strings and brass...imposing..Derek sensed my nervousness, 'read' my mental turmoil, came over, and beamed that massive smile...and viola! magically, I felt confident, and ended up enjoying the session very much...every time since that day, was always a joy to work with him, and be around such a positive human being...God Bless x
john mckenzie 23 March, 2013
Rest in peace Derek. My family and I would like to send our condolences to Wendy and family. We knew you all when we lived in Hinchley Wood and our children were at St Pauls School together. I remember Derek playing in the church one Christmas. Everyone was very thrilled. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.
Margaret Buckley 23 March, 2013
I've looked up to Derek my entire musical life, listening to his playing and watching the countless video clips of him, has always inspired me to want more from my own playing. A true gentleman in life, and a legend forever. My thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and family. He will be missed by many, but have no doubt his work will continue to entertain and inspire for a long time to come - give those harping angels up there a true lesson in what God's music really sounds like!! X
Chris Hughes 23 March, 2013
Derek was unique. Apart from his playing, which speaks for itself, it's how he was when you worked with him. He never made me feel like a silly singer - quite the opposite - we were all a team of musicians, and whenever we did a job together, the result was amazing. End of. Gonna miss you, Derek xx
Annie Skates 23 March, 2013
Our paths crossed only occasionally but I was always left in awe of his talent, musicianship and humanity.
Mark David 23 March, 2013
(my Doo-Wop) You, and the unique laugh that made me laugh. You, Wendy and your children have "been there" for me. You will never be forgotten. I love ya', little brother.
madeline bell reeves 23 March, 2013
Derek was on my first session as musical director/arranger and virtually everything since. He lived up to no yardstick of excellence, he WAS the yardstick! God Bless him and his family
John Altman 23 March, 2013
Derek is the reason I wanted to play trumpet - I first met him in Wales when I was 15. He came down with trumpet player Greg Bowen, to our village Llangennech. He has been an inspiration to me, and many musicians worldwide. Music has lost a simply true great. God has finally got himself a true lead.
Derek Lawton 23 March, 2013
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