January 07, 2013
Reggie Watts to Appear at APAP/NYC
: Friend of subject, copyright transferred, Wikipedia Creative Commons. Photo by Friend of Reggie Watts, name withheld.
Musician, comedian, performance phenom Reggie Watts [MU ’93-’95] presents at the APAP in New York, January 13, 2013 as plenary speaker.
Reggie Watts, who studied jazz in the music department at Cornish 1993-95, is featured as a “plenary speaker” for the APAP/NYC conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) in New York on the 13th of January. The conference features multiple breakout sessions on many subjects. But as a highlight of the conference, plenary sessions bring together all attendees at the Hilton New York Trianon and Grand Ballrooms to hear from some of the most inspiring creative thinkers, thought leaders and artists from around the world who have influence on the field and future of arts presentation.
Although Watts is listed as a speaker, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be giving a “speech” as that term is normally defined. No subject of his “talk” was given out, but he is known for performances marked by improvisation worked into sound loops created on the spot, so members are most likely in for a break from the usual conference fare. For a taste of what Watts will have to offer conference goers, here is a YouTube feed of his performance of “Big-Ass Purse” from the Conan O’Brien road show:
Watts has received many rave (and we mean rave) reviews. The LA Weekly writes: “He is a heaving mass of synapses, magnetism and creativity, and arguably the most wildly inventive new talent of the past five years.” MetroMix Pick says: “To describe what comedian-cum-performance artist-cum-multimedia theater piece conjurer Reggie Watts does in his act would take about 1,000 words to accurately convey” – in 15 Bands you should not miss. Rolling Stone writes: “Reggie Watts is a comedian like platypuses are mammals: weirdly and awesomely.”
The APAP/NYC site lionizes Reggie Watts as an “internationally renowned vocalist, beatboxer, musician, comedian and improviser.” They go on to say that Watts “amazes audiences with unpredictable performances created on-the-spot using only his voice and looping pedals while blending the lines between comedy and music. Reggie was handpicked by Conan O’Brien to open Conan’s sold out North American tour and has been crowned ‘Hot Comedian’ by Rolling Stone, named SPIN Magazine’s ‘Best New Comedian’ and ‘Best of CMJ’ 2010 and was featured in a profile in GQ’s 2010 Man Of The Year issue. Reggie has performed with LCD Soundsystem and Regina Spektor.” During and after his time at Cornish, Watts played in a number of Seattle bands of every stripe, style and genre, including Hit Explosion, Swampdweller, Action Buddy, Chiarrscuro, Clementine, Smell No Taste, Wayne Horvitz 4+1 Ensemble, Das Rut, Synthclub, Elemental, Eyvand Kang Seven Nades, Free Space, etc. He became the front man for soul, rock, and hip hop group Maktub, with whom he has recorded five albums. Watts also became interested in alternative performance styles; he composed musical scores for a number of Northwest dance choreographers including Cornish grad Amy O’Neal.
According the APAP sources, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, “based in Washington, D.C., is the national service and advocacy organization with more than 1,400 members worldwide, dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our members represent the nation’s leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, and other organizations and venue plus managers, touring companies, and consulting practices, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists.
APAP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC – the world’s leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts.
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