Justin Watt was born in northeastern Ohio where he began his study of percussion and drum set at an early age. He has received music degrees in Percussion Performance from two esteemed universities. In 2002 he obtained a Bachelors of Music Degree from the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University and in 2005 a Masters of Music Degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. He also spent the Fall of 2002 semester doing post-graduate work at Cleveland State University. His principal teachers include Ted Rounds(KSU), Dr. Glenn Schaft (YSU), Tom Freer (The Cleveland Orchestra) and Mark Gonder (The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra), among others.

At the end of 2007, he finished a two year stint as the drummer for the Glenn Miller Orchestra where he toured throughout the United States, Japan and Canada. He has also performed with many notable performers such as Jim McNeely, Deanna Witkowski, Michael Burritt,comedian Jack Carter, Larry O’Brien, David Morgan, The Four Aces, Dolores Parker Morgan, Julia Rich, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Paul McGhee, Joey De Francesco, Nick Hilscher, Bobby Shew, Kent Englehardt and Jimmy Heath.

Currently, Justin resides in Asheville, NC where he is free-lancing and involved with many music related projects. He is the drummer for the Keith Davis, Bill Gerhardt and “Like Mind” Trios. All three groups are dedicated to continuing and advancing the art of trio playing. He is also the drummer for the Greenville Jazz Collective Quintet and performs frequently with the Asheville Jazz Orchestra. Justin has also been active with several regional theatre groups such as the Asheville Community Theatre, the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, the Altamont Theatre and the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre. Most recently, Justin co-curates the “Asheville Original Music Series”, a monthly concert held at the ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall that features a regional composer and their music.

In addition to teaching at Furman University, Justin is also on staff as a percussion adjunct at the University of North Carolina Asheville and teaches once a week at the Asheville Music School.​​​

Name Title Description

My philosophy of drum set teaching at Furman University is a very individual-centered type of approach. Whether it’s a near-beginner or a more advanced player, I try to cater the lessons towards what that student wants/needs to learn. With a novice that may mean starting from square one and with a more experienced player that may mean helping the student have a command of various styles of playing from be-bop to bembe. For those students who are playing in Furman jazz groups (big band or combos) I always make time in lessons to address issues they may be having with their ensemble music. This helps to assist them in a more “real world” playing environment.

Youngstown State University
Kent State University
Ted Rounds
Kent State University
Dr. Glenn Schaft
Youngstown State University
Tom Freer
Cleveland State University
Mark Gonder
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra

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