Alan Watson was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1960. He began to play guitar, bass and drums at age 11. He played is first gigs while attending grammar school. At St. Peters Prep, he played flute and alto sax in the high school marching band. During this time, at age 15, he became interested in the piano. In 1975 he was playing with local bands and joined local 802 of the Musicians Union.
In 1978 he entered Rutgers University to study pre-veterinary biology and his life as a jazz musician began. He took jazz studies with pianist Kenny Barron and guitarist Ted Dunbar. There were many other great jazz professors such as Michael Carvin, Larry Ridley, Freddie Wats, David Baker, and Paul Jeffrey. Alan was the pianist in the student jazz ensemble with contemporaries Regina Belle, Terrance Blanchard (his room-mate), Frank Lacy, Jerry Weldon, Ralph Peterson Jr., and Jeanie Bryson. Other friends during his college years at Rutgers University included Kevin and David Eubanks, Eddie Gladden, Stanley Jordan, Branford Marsalis, and James Spaulding. Rutgers also brought artists for workshop/performances. Thus Alan also performed with Dexter Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Joe Lavano, Clifford Jordan, Curtis Fuller, Sonny Stitt, Philly Joe Jones, Donald Harris and Wallace Rooney.
After school, in 1983, he started his gig at Balley’s Park Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, performing opposite the likes of Freddie Cole. Later the same year he started working the hotel circuit and living in Corpus Cristi, Texas. He returned to New Jersey in 1986, and soon started playing the Hammond organ. He ran a steady 4-night gig, hiring people such as: Louis Hayes, Bobby Watson, Kenny Garrett, Harry Leahy, Jimmy Ponder, Louis Nash, Cassandra Wilson, Jessica Cleaves, Evelyn Blakey and Marvin “Smitty” Smith.
Alan’s classmate, Regina Belle called on him to go on the road after her 1988 hit song. He and Gina toured around the world, playing shows like Soul Train, the Arsenio Hall Show, the Carson Show, Big Break Today, and touring with Peabo Bryson, the Whispers, Kool And The Gang, Guy, Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince. After that he worked in Istanbul, Turkey, but had to return after three months because of the Gulf War. Then he went to Japan to work with Jean Carn and the Ohio Players. They went home; Alan stayed. He performed and associated with people like Chaka Khan, Bobby Brown, M. C. Hammer. He even did some bookings for a few places, bringing musicians from state side.
When Alan returned home in 1994, he began production work for various artists such as: Ted Mills of Blue Magic, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Shirley Marshall of the Shirelles, and even rap groups such as Naughty By Nature. In the year 2000, Alan and his wife Afeni moved to Roanoke, Virginia, an idyllic place to raise their son, Alan Jr.