William Russell Watrous III is a professional trombonist. He is well known among fellow trombonists as a master technician and for his mellifluous sound. Watrous was born on June 8, 1939 in Middletown, Connecticut. He was introduced to the jazz trombone at an early age by his father, also a trombonist. While serving in the military, Watrous studied with jazz pianist and composer Herbie Nichols. His first professional performances were in Billy Butterfield's band.