Derek Watkins, the prolific British trumpeter who played on every James Bond soundtrack – from “Dr No” to “Skyfall” – has died after a two year battle with cancer. He was 68.
As a session trumpet player, Watkins earned a reputation as the best in the business. His long list of credits are the proof. During his career, Watkins played with all the big names, including the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Tom Jones, Benny Goodman, Oasis, Robbie Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Eric Clapton.
Born into a musical family in Reading, England, Watkins learned his instrument at a young age and was a professional by 17. Jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie reportedly referred to Watkins as “Mr Lead,” and composer David Arnold has described the late musician as a “musical genius”.