Musicians from around the globe to gather for Claygate trumpeter's tribute

Melody maker: Derek Watkins

Melody maker: Derek Watkins

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

A memorial concert will be held in memory of an esteemed trumpeter who died last year.

Derek Watkins, who played on every James Bond soundtrack, died at his Claygate home surrounded by family on March 22, 2013, after losing a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer called sarcoma.

To celebrate Mr Watkins’ life, on what would have been his 69th birthday, a concert will be held to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, a small charity which researches the rare disease Mr Watkins died from.

The concert, which takes place at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, on Sunday, March 2, will start with an open meet and greet, allowing people to speak to Mr Watkins family and the musicians appearing in the concert.

Musicians will fly in from around the world to take part and pay their respects, including Chuck Findley from Los Angeles, Madeline Bell, flying in from her home in Spain and Bart and Erik Van Lier will come from Holland to take part in the tribute.

All musicians taking part in the concert and support staff are all working for free to honour the much loved and missed trumpeter.

Mr Watkins’ wife, Wendy, said: “Derek would be so proud, humbled and overwhelmed by the response to the concert from his friends, and probably would not be able to believe just how much he was loved, which has been demonstrated by his friends’ reactions when asked to appear for nothing in his honour.”

As well as playing on all 23 Bond tracks from Dr No in 1962 to Skyfall, Mr Watkins performed with the Beatles, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and more during his glittering career.

His funeral, which had more than 500 people in attendance, was held at the Holy Trinity Church, Claygate on April 8.

For more information and for tickets, visit or call 020 8688 9291.

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