On Sunday 2nd March, a memorial concert was held at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, to celebrate the life of Derek Watkins, a musician who played on every James Bond soundtrack. This would have been his 69th birthday.
The concert was held to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, a small charity which researches the rare disease Mr Watkins died from in 2013.
Musicians from around the world flew in to take part and pay their respects, including Chuck Findley from Los Angeles, Madeline Bell from Spain, and Bart and Erik Van Lier from Holland. All the musicians and support staff on the concert gave their services free to honour the much loved and missed trumpeter.
Mr Watkins wife Wendy, remarked, “Derek would have been so proud, humbled and overwhelmed by the response to the concert and also the love demonstrated by his friends when they were asked to appear in his honour”.
As well as playing on all twenty three Bond tracks from Dr No in 1962 to more recently Skyfall, Mr Watkins also performed with the Beatles, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and more during his glittering career.
His funeral, which was attended by more than 500 people, was held at the Holy Trinity Church, Claygate in April 2013, and was conducted by Robert Lodge, on behalf of the family business, Lodge Brothers Funeral Directors, Esher.