A lot can be said about someone who has won an award that has only been given out twice, especially when the other winner was Jaco Pastorius.
Nathan Watts, who has played in Stevie Wonder’s rhythm section for the last 36 years and has served as Stevie’s musical director for the last twelve, was awarded the International Bassist Award at the 2010 Winter NAMM Show. The award, which is described as a “lifetime achievement” award for bassists, was accompanied by an event sponsored by Samson, Hartke, and Zoom that featured a who’s who of bassists.
In a performance that was led by Watts, bassists Byron Miller, Freddie Washington, J.D. DeServio, Marcus Miller, Stu Hamm and Victor Wooten sat in with the band which was comprised of mostly Stevie Wonder’s band. Wooten presented the award to Watts, and in speaking to the crowd said, “Nate Watts can’t count how many number one hits he’s played on. But, I’ll bet everyone else in this room knows exactly how many they’ve played on!”
Stevie Wonder appeared at the event, saying that “Nate Watts is not only my bass player, he’s the world’s bass player.” Along with his long standing position in Wonder’s band, Watts has also appeared with other superstars such as Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, the Pointer Sisters, Jeffrey Osborne, and many more.
“Nate is the epitome of what the International Bassist Award stands for,” said Samson President Scott Goodman. “He’s influenced and inspired generations of bassists and musicians around the world, providing a lifetime of music and devotion to the bass community. For all these reasons, and the amazing person he is, we were delighted to honor Nate with this award.”