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Josiah 'Jazz' Watts


He made his first television appearance on the WJXT television show ‘It’s Elementary’.  This is where he answered his first live question on television.. ‘Who has the answer ball?  I do!’ Since that time he has always known that he wanted to be on the big screen.  He has continuously found himself performing on a stage somewhere at some time or another.  


He spent his youth growing up primarily in coastal Georgia between Sapelo Island and St. Simons Island.  He credits much of his success in the arts with his parents.  “My parents were my inspiration. They both came from extremely humble beginnings, but still managed to raise my brother, sister, and I with more love than I can ever be thankful for.  Though they are both gone I always pay homage to them in the work that I do; whether with Sapelo or any other project that I write." - Josiah Watts


Josiah's most current projects include working with well-known director and writer David Garrett on his projects Oak Hill, The Wretched End of Reve Clay, and Sated.   He can also currently been seen in Aime' Ce'saire' 'A Tempest' at Theater Emory this winter.  The adaptation was directed by internationally known playwright Paul Carter Harrison.   Josiah has also worked with the daughter of historic civil rights leader Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Donzaleigh Abernathy, on her project 'Partners to History'. 


He co-stars in IronE Singleton’s new album debut song ‘J.O.P.’ aka ‘Jelly on Pam’ as Jazz Diesel.  He says it was one of the most enriching and entertaining moments to date.  IronE Singleton writes, direct, and produces Jelly On Pam. J.O.P. is a jazzy/rock/rap party song and an homage to women; more particularly our "Curvy Women" who do not get the same positive attention in American society as their thinner counterparts.  "It was truly an honor to work with IronE on J.O.P."  He also works with IronE on his One'Man Show 'Blindsided by the Walking Dead; formerly known as 'IronE the Resurrected' on the production crew. 


In addition to his current projects he is looking forward to bringing his highly acclaimed ‘Sapelo Project’ back to the stage.  He calls it one of the highlights of his career. 


Josiah wrote and curated the 'The Sapelo Project'. It was directed by Theater Emory Artistic Director Janice Akers.  A theater piece that integrates music, movement, spoken word, acting, and cinema to capture some of the culture and stories of Sapelo Island and the development of the Saltwater Geechee dialect, the history of enslavement on the island, and the melding influences of Arabic, English, Spanish and French.


"The Sapelo Project is a detailed interpretation of the lives of the direct ancestors of enslaved Africans brought from West Africa via the Middle Caicos to America. It is about a people surviving the horrors of one of the worst journeys in recorded human history to somehow build a unique way of life that still survives to this day. The Sapelo Project is a documentation of not only their perseverance, but also their ability to maintain their family traditions while under the very vestiges of slavery. It is a demonstration of how they maintained a foundation of family though they were enslaved. It is about how they maintained their African traditions day in and day out, and passed them along through many generations. It is about how they made music when they couldn't speak, how they danced in ways to feel, how they loved one another through it all."  It is not just African history or even African-American history. It is American history.  And it belongs to all of us.

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