“Thin Man” Watts was born in DeLand, Florida in 1926, and had his first musical lesson from Glenn Swann, a Stetson University music professor. In May 2000, in recognition of his lifetime of musical achievement, Stetson awarded Watts an honorary Doctor of Music degree. The “Thin Man” Watts Jazz Festival began on May 29, 2004 at the African American Museum of the Arts to honor and name the newly built amphitheater on behalf of Legendary saxophonist and bandleader Noble “Thin Man” Watts.
The African American Museum of the Arts and Mainstreet DeLand Association present the “Thin Man” Watts Jazz Fest annually in October to bring the community together through its shared jazz heritage. Ticketed events are held at the Dr. Noble “Thin Man” Watts Amphitheater located at 322 South Clara Avenue, DeLand, Florida and Café da Vinci located at 112 Georgia Avenue, DeLand Florida. The event is coordinated by Jeff Shepherd. More information at wattsjazzfest.com.