Derek Watkins was an all round trumpet player. He turned professional when he was aged 17. He played in the band his father conducted – The Spring Gardens Brass Band in Reading. As well as the Brass Band of Reading he played with his father’s dance band before he turned professional.
He played with many famous artists including The Beatles, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, The London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also played with the BBC Big Band and performed with jazz musicians Johnny Dankworth, Maynard Ferguson and Benny Goodman.
Aside from playing with the biggest names in music he also played on every James Bond film soundtrack, from Dr No to Skyfall.
Philip Biggs, editor of the Brass Herald proclaimed that Watkins was: ‘Widely considered to be the foremost British Big Band Trumpet Player.’