GREG WATKINS is considered by many to be a well-respected artist and virtuoso of his generation, influenced by such greats as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sammie Davis, Jr., John Legend and Quincy Jones!
Greg Watkins is a graduate of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and The Howard University (B.M. Music Education). In 2007, he toured Italy for the Annual Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival as baritone soloist with renowned composer and Founder and CEO of NEWorks Production Nolan Williams, Jr.
Greg has opened concerts for the world’s greatest storyteller in Gospel music Evangelist Dorothy Norwood, six time Stellar Award Winner Byron Cage, nine time Grammy Award Winner Natalie Cole, and the most awarded eclectic, a’Capella group in history: Take 6.
In 2005 as a featured performer with Washington National Opera, he sang the role of Jazz in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina, sharing the stage with Broadway diva Patti LuPone.
In 2008, Greg traveled to New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center to receive the ASCAP Foundation/Cherry Lane Foundation/Music Alive Scholarship Award in Honor of Dr. Quincy Jones for his outstanding work in production, composition, performance, and musical direction.
In June 2014, Greg took center-stage singing the leading baritone role of African-American poet and novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar with mezzo-soprano opera sensation Denyce Graves (Matilda Dunbar, mother) in Dr. Steven M. Allen’s one-act chamber opera The Poet. The following year, Greg reprised his role in a very special PBS documentary, “The Life and Legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar.” The same year, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, he performed as Narrator in Appomattox Preview, a newly-revised opera by Phillip Glass and Christopher Hampton.
Greg also starred as the iconic Billy Strayhorn in Tom Minter’s Blues for a Royal Flush at the National Portrait Gallery. Following this performance, Greg sang the leading baritone role of Omani in the premiere performance of Tony Small’s newest operatic work, Qadar, affording him a second opportunity to work with the amazing Denyce Graves, who contributed artistic direction.
The incomparable gifts of Greg Watkins as a trained singer and pianist, have planted him on historic stages including DC’s Warner Theater, Lincoln Theater, Howard Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Music Center at Strathmore, Washington National Cathedral, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House, and the Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has performed on numerous occasions for The Capital City Chapter of The Links Incorporated and is well-celebrated as an artist by The Society Incorporated.
Greg is no less gifted or celebrated for his Musical directing. He served as pianist and musical director for George Purefoy Tilson’s The Poet Warriors, which won for Best Musical at the annual Capital Fringe Festival (2010.)
Greg’s undeniably sharp skills in musical direction have landed him opportunities to perform in productions alongside such celebrated artists as Debbie Allen, Linda Eder, e’Marcus Harper, Lynda Gravatt, Clay Aiken, Brian McKnight, Jennifer Holiday, Hinton Battle, and Wendy Raquel Robinson. Greg has also worked in tandem with prolific Broadway & Sundance Film Composer Kathryn Bostic and Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad as co-music arranger and musical director for the nationally-acclaimed staged reading of Christina Ham’s Four Little Girls, produced by Project1Voice.
Most recently, Greg joined the creative team of Step Afrika! as music arranger and musical director for the annual Step Xplosion at the Music Center at Strathmore.
In 2012, Greg was invited by Dr. Marian Wright Edelman and The Children’s Defense Fund to share two of his musical compositions “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” and “Let Excellence Be Your Goal” for the Annual Beat the Odds Program. Years later, the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) honored Greg Watkins with its 2015 Emerging Artist award for his outstanding work with children, his service to the community, and his many accomplishments as a rising artist.
Greg is Artistic Director of The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir, and can also be heard as a featured soloist on Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music's 8th CD project, entitled, MAJESTY: A LIVE Recording of Anthems, Hymns and Spirituals.