Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey, Fred was recruited to play bass in 5th grade by his school’s instrumental music program and one year later he began private lessons with legendary educator and double bassist, Homer Mensch. While studying double bass performance at the University of Michigan, he also played with a wide variety of professional performing groups including James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band, the Scandinavian Symphony under the direction of Valter Poole, and the Detroit ConcertJazz Big Band. After earning his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, he settled in the Detroit area where he continued his performing career, appearing with many of Detroit’s elite musicians, including Ron English, J.C. Heard, Jerry McKenzie, Bill Meyer, and Walter White.
Watstein’s musical career has taken him around the world performing for thousands of audiences on 5 continents, including The 100 Club in London, England; Stampen in Stockholm, Sweden; Storyville in Helsinki, Finland; the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland; the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland; the Vienne Jazz Festival in Vienne, France; the Guinness Jazz Festival in Cork, Ireland; the Dubbo Jazz Festival in Dubbo, Australia; the Playboy Comedy Tour in Las Vegas, NV; the Detroit / Montreux Jazz Festival in Detroit, MI; and the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee in Sacramento, CA.
Since relocating to Las Vegas in 2002, Watstein’s credits include performances with television, film, and recording star James Darren; Grammy award-winning composer, arranger, and saxophonist Gary Anderson, Grammy award-winning drummer Manny Kellough, Grammy award-winning percussionist Michito Sanchez, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, The Jimmy Wilkins New Life Orchestra, The Yucca Mountain String Band, Bill Fayne’s Voices 3, Poperazzi, The Las Vegas Tenors, Brent Barrett, Denise Clemente, Andy Walo, and Uli Geissendoerfer. His theater credits include The Producers, Forever Plaid, Fiddler on the Roof, Company, Putting It Together, Wizard – The Musical Journey of Oz Composer Harold Arlen, A Tribute to Billie Holiday, and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show .