top of page

Sat, 20 May


Watford Pump House Theatre

Cleveland Watkiss presents The Great Jamaican Songbook

A high-energy and hard-hitting evening of Caribbean reggae & jazz presented by the award-winning singer Cleveland Watkiss alongside a truly exceptional band.

Registration is closed
See other events
Cleveland Watkiss presents The Great Jamaican Songbook
Cleveland Watkiss presents The Great Jamaican Songbook


20 May 2023, 20:00

Watford Pump House Theatre, 5 Local Board Rd, Watford WD17 2JP, UK



Cleveland Watkiss is one of the most celebrated British jazz vocalists of his generation. He won the Ivor Novello Award for Innovation in 2021, and the Boisdale Music Award as Best Jazz Artist of the Year 2022.

During this very special show for the Watford Jazz Junction, Cleveland will be celebrating Jamaica’s long history of pioneering musical sounds. Along with his stellar band he will bring to life some of the greatest songs written by Jamaican legends from mento, ska and reggae to dub and roots. With classic tracks from legendary artists including Dennis Brown and Delroy Wilson, The Great Jamaican Songbook tells poignant stories about the times and the culture, with a deep and infectious rhythm.

‘From the bone-shaking power of Fatman Sound System to the sweet-toned vocals of 1970s greats such as Gregory Isaacs, reggae is an integral part of Watkiss’ musical DNA, and the Songbook pays fulsome homage both to the music’s golden period and to his own Jamaican roots.’ The Artsdeck

“Best Male Jazz Singer in England” Evening Standard

For a sneak peak, here is their wonderful version of 'If I Don't Have You' recorded ive at the Music Port Festival.

The band are a who’s who of celebrated UK jazz, pop, reggae and funk legends, each with their own strong reputation both within these scenes and way beyond. Expected line-up:

Cleveland Watkiss – Vocals

Byron Wallen - Trumpet

James Wade-Sired - Trombone

Orphy Robinson - Keys

Phil Ramocon - Keys

Alan Weekes - Guitars

Delroy Murray - Bass

Carl Robinson – Drums

More about Cleveland 

Born in the East End of London, Cleveland Watkiss is a virtuoso vocalist, actor and composer. He was one of the co-founders of the vastly influential Jazz Warriors big band. His vocals can be heard on their celebrated debut album, Out of Many People.

Across an astonishing career he has performed with many artists from around the world including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Dylan, Jackie Mittoo, Keith Richards, the James Taylor Quartet, Art Blakey, Sly & Robbie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder, Patife, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Kennedy, Carlinhos Brown, Robbie Williams, Joe Cocker, The Who, Branford Marsalis, George Martin, Julian Joseph, Bocato Big Band, Lisa Stansfield, Courtney Pine, Janet Kay, Maxi Priest, Soul II Soul, the London Chamber Orchestra, Kassa Mady, the BBC Orchestra, Goldie, Cassandra Wilson, the Kenny Wheeler Big Band, Sugar Minot, Talvin Singh, Bjork, Pete Townshend, the London Community Gospel Choir [LCGC] and many many more. 

For his services to music Watkiss was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours.


Our doors will open from 7pm as will a full bar. There is limited parking on site (including disabled spaces) with other parking nearby in Century Retail Park (up to 3 hours) and on street. The show will start at 8pm with an interval. All seats are allocated as per your ticket. We expect to conclude a little after 10pm


Hot food is available from 7pm, made by Sam & Craig from The Village Kitchen. This will be yummy bowl-food including a vegan/vegetarian option.


  • General Admission

    +£0.63 service fee
    Sold Out


bottom of page