On Sunday 28 May, I headed over to USF Verftet – which used to be a Sardine Factory (of course it did!) – to see Reggie Watts perform as a part of Nattjazz. In Seattle, my hometown, we like to claim him as one of our own because he came to Seattle at age 18 to study music and stayed from 1990-2004. But really, he was born in Germany to an American father and French mother, and lived in both Germany and Spain before eventually moving to the Montana and then Seattle.
He’s a musician/comedian/improvisor and hilarity ensues when he takes the stage. Quick-witted, topical, talented and sometimes absurdist; he pulls on and casts aside languages and accents like masks, creates layered and potentially poignant songs on the spot, and generally impresses with his comedic stylings. I’m guessing that there is a reason that Nattjazz features his silhouette on their posters.
You kinda just have to see him to understand, so here he is giving a Ted Talk (video from the Ted website):
I’ve only managed to see him perform one other time, when he toured with Radiolab’s stage show, Apocalyptical – Watts’ portion and the first half of which I thought was incredible (but I’ll have to save my obsession with podcasts for another time). I felt incredibly joyful to see Watts on stage in Bergen. He even incorporated some Bergen and Norway-themed comedy. “Norway? There is always a way…” Alas, I do not remember the exact, and infinitely better, quote. So, instead here he is in Seattle in Apocalyptical. Video is from Radiolab WNYC (and if you’re at all interested in the extinction of the dinosaurs, I highly recommend watching from the beginning).
Did you make it out to see Reggie at Nattjazz? Share your experience below! Maybe you can remember some Norway jokes…
Missed him? There are still other great talents gracing the stage at Nattjazz — it ends on 6 June.
See what you can still go see at Nattjazz here. Nattjazz offers a student discount with your student ID and a youth price for people under 27 years old. Valid ID required.You can take a peek at Nattjazz’s website here. All the venues for Nattjazz are at USF Verftet, and if you like the jazz… Bergen Jazzforum and Western Norway’s Jazz Centre are also there.