b. 7 February 1964, London, England. An exceptionally gifted alto saxophonist and composer, Wates worked with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and also studied at Berklee College Of Music, graduating from there in 1988. He gained experience playing with a wide range of artists including Humphrey Lyttelton, Paz, Roadside Picnic, Itchy Fingers and Sax Appeal, recording with the last four bands. He formed his own sextet, playing soft and hard bop, many of his own compositions and featuring trumpeter Martin Shaw and bass player Malcolm Creese, for whose Audio-B label he made several albums in the 90s and new millennium. This sextet was nominated in the Best Small Group category at the 1997 British Telecom Jazz Awards; Wates was nominated in the Alto Saxophone category, and he won the award as the Year’s Rising Star. Surprisingly for an alto saxophonist of his generation and background, Wates plays with a gentle, subtly intriguing sound and style.
Share this page