Justin Watt

Adjunct Instructor of Music, Drum-Set

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A native of northeastern Ohio, Justin moved to Asheville, N.C. in 2008 after a two year stint as the drummer for the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, where he was able to tour the United States, Canada and Japan. In the Asheville area, he is very in-demand and active as a free-lance musician in various genres, however, he mostly makes his living these days as a drum-set player and educator. He performs regularly with the "Asheville Art", "Like Mind" and Keith Davis Trios. These groups are all dedicated to continuing and advancing the art of the jazz trio. Justin is also the drummer for the Greenville Jazz Collective Contemporary Quintet, a non-profit group that performs concerts at many venues and schools throughout the region. In addition to his teaching duties at Furman University, Justin teaches part time at the Asheville Music School and is also an adjunct percussion instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Justin's principal teachers include Ted Rounds (Kent State University), Dr. Glenn Schaft
(Youngstown State University), Mark Gonder (Cleveland Jazz Orchestra) and Tom Freer (Cleveland Orchestra). His teaching philosophy was no doubt shaped by these educators, and others, but also by his own experiences as an active performer. In his own words: "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. I strive to make the lessons friendly and comfortable for the student, while also making sure that they know what is expected of them each week."

Drum-Set teacher at the Asheville Music School; Adjunct Percussion Instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville.


  • B.M., in Percussion Performance, Kent State University
  • M.M.,  in Percussion Performance, Youngstown State University