GREG WATKINS is a born and bred Washingtonian and well-respected artist: pianist, singer, musical director, songwriter and arranger, actor and a brilliantly-pure entertainer. A graduate of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Howard University (B.M. Music Education) and a former graduate student of Catholic University where he pursued his masters in voice.
Greg Watkins is the recipient of two awards in honor of Dr. Quincy Jones (ASCAP Foundation/Cherry Lane Foundation/Music Alive, 2008, and The Raney-Moss Group, 2019) for his outstanding work in production, composition, performance, and musical direction. He is also the recipient of the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts' Emerging Artist Award (2015) for his exemplary work with children, his service to the community, and his many accomplishments as a rising performing artist. He has appeared in several operas including Steven M. Allen’s The Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows for which he originated the leading baritone role of quintessential novelist and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and garnered media attention in the newly PBS Documentary, Beyond the Mask, chronicling the life of Mr. Dunbar. In this production, Greg sang opposite internationally-renowned mezzo soprano Denyce Graves, who performed the role of Matilda Dunbar (Paul Laurence Dunbar’s mother). Other opera credits include Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Balthazar), Tony Small’s Qadar (Omani), and Marc Blitzstein’s Regina (Jazz) where he sang opposite Broadway diva Patti LuPone. Greg has also appeared on Season 6.2 of the hit television series “House of Cards” and received his first Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical (The Gospel at Colonus).
Greg Watkins has opened concerts for the world’s greatest storyteller in Gospel music Evangelist Dorothy Norwood, six time Stellar Award Winner Byron Cage, and Grammy Award Winners Natalie Cole and Take 6. At the age of 16, a young jazz pianist, he was invited to the Canadian Embassy to privately perform for the late Oscar Peterson; a couple of years later, he was invited to do the same for U.S. Congressman John Conyers, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Broadway conductor Linda Twine. As a pianist and musical director, Greg has worked with Debbie Allen, Linda Eder, Lynda Gravatt, Kim Burrell, Yolanda Adams, Clay Aiken, Brian McKnight, Jennifer Holiday, Hinton Battle, Wendy Raquel Robinson and DC’s own Step Afrika! 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 can also be heard as a featured soloist on Stellar Award nominated Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music’s hit single, Take It to the Lord In Prayer, recorded on their 7th CD project, MAJESTY: A LIVE Recording of Anthems, Hymns and Spirituals. In 2015, Greg joined forced with the Washington National Opera and the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in narrating the Appomattox Preview, an artistic preface to Phillip Glass’ opera, Appomattox.
The effervescent renaissance man that he is, Greg Watkins has appeared in Tom Minter's original work Blues for a Royal Flush, commissioned by Stanford In Washington where he originated the role of iconic jazz musician, Billy Strayhorn. Other local and regional credits include Arena Stage: Jubilee; Toby’s Dinner Theater: Dreamgirls; Keegan Theatre: Legally Blonde; WSC Avant Bard: The Gospel At Colonus, King Lear; Workhouse Arts Center: Rock of Ages; Creative Cauldron: Thunder Knocking On the Door; Delaware Theater Company: Crowns; Theater Alliance: Black Nativity; Arts Centric: Sister Act; Harrison & Berg: Soul Harmony; Anacostia Playhouse/All About the Drama: Happy Ending; Constellation Theatre Company: Aida; Olney Theatre Center: Finian's Rainbow; Monumental Theatre Company: Montgomery, a Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival staged-reading.
As a musical director, Greg Watkins has worked locally and nationally on a number of productions including The Poet Warriors (2010 Capital Fringe Best Musical Award) and the nationally-acclaimed staged-reading of Christina Ham’s Four Little Girls, produced by Project1 Voice and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he collaborated with prolific Broadway & Sundance Film Composer Kathryn Bostic and Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad as co-music arranger and musical director. His talents as a singer and pianist have even taken him from the White House, John F. Kennedy Center, Washington National Cathedral, and Warner Theater to international soil: Germany, Russia, Italy, China, Antigua and Barbuda, and Colombia.
For eleven years, Greg Watkins has served as musical director and primary musical theater instructor of The Performing Arts Training Studio’s Children’s Theater Workshop. Additionally, he has taught musical theater as well as choral and general music at Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Takoma Academy and Alice Deal Middle School. Greg currently serves as the Artistic Director of The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir and Minister of Music at the Dayspring Community Church in Seabrook, MD.
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