Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Keith Crombie of Newcastle's Jazz Café RIP


Image from http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=54153230@N00&q=keith%20crombie

Newcastle Jazz Cafe icon Keith Crombie dies aged 74 

Kim Swan
Sunday Sun
30 December 2012

A RENOWNED North jazz icon has passed away in hospital.

Keith Crombie, owner of Newcastle’s famous Jazz Cafe, died yesterday at the age of 74.

Known to many as “The Jazz Man”, Keith was a distinctive figure on the local music scene.

Over the years, he handed out thousands of leaflets to students at Northumbria University advertising his popular venue on Newcastle’s Pink Lane.

Mr Crombie was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary with a lung infection on Wednesday but sadly lost his life.

Born in Seaham and raised in Newcastle, he built the Jazz Cafe into one of the region’s leading music venues. Popular with visiting celebrities, it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Mr Crombie picked up an ambition to run his own jazz bar in the 1960s when involved with Newcastle’s legendary Downbeat Club.

Former Sunday Sun editor Peter Montellier, a friend of 20 years, last night paid tribute.

Peter said: “Keith was a one-off. What he brought to Newcastle was something that was entirely different.

“There was nowhere like the Jazz Cafe. People used to come from across the world to go there. Just last week there were people from Russia and Korea there saying they’d never seen anywhere like it.”

Star musicians Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr were known to relax at the late-night cafe after performances elsewhere, sometimes spontaneously soloing or jamming with local musicians.

Peter added: “The Jazz Cafe was really popular with famous people who were in Newcastle.
“Actors at the Theatre Royal would always go in for a drink.

“The Royal Shakespeare Company also loved the Jazz Cafe. They would have two nights there every time they were in residency.

“Keith was genuinely on first-name terms with some of the greatest actors of our generation.

“There will be a lot of people who are sad to see him go.”

http://www.sundaysun.co.uk/news/north-east-news/2012/12/30/newcastle-jazz-cafe-icon-keith-crombie-dies-aged-74-79310-32515001/




Friends Pay Tribute To Jazz Legend Keith Crombie
By Joe Daunt

A man who once turned down The Beatles but went on to become one of the most respected men on the Newcastle music scene has died aged 74.

Tributes have been paid to “Jazz Man” Keith Crombie, who died at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary after suffering a lung infection.

Mr Crombie was best known for running the Jazz Café on Pink Lane in Newcastle, and would often be seen handing out flyers for his business close to the university campuses.

Born in Seaham and raised in Newcastle, Mr Crombie picked up an ambition to run his own jazz bar in the 1960s when involved with Newcastle’s legendary Downbeat Club.

He built the Jazz Cafe into one of the region’s leading music venues. Popular with visiting celebrities, it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

His pulling power saw the Rolling Stones perform in of his bars in the 1960's - when he claimed also to have refused to book The Beatles.

Close friend Shianne Sporr said: “I will miss Keith immensely. He came to my graduation and also gave me away at my wedding.”

Other jazz musicians have also paid tribute to the Jazz 'Legend'.

There will be a jamming session at the Jazz Café on Sunday January 6 in his memory.

8 comments:

  1. The big fella was quite an enigma.

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  2. Didn't he turf out Andy Ffrench on one occasion? If so, God bless him.

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  3. He's looked like that ever since I can remember. I always thought he was a good ten years older!

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  4. Miserable old git

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  5. "Miserable old git"?
    Aw, come on, Paul's not THAT bad!

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  6. You're right, he's not that old.

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  7. whilst enjoying a chat over coffee he once told me that he met brigitte bardot whilst she was riding a horse on a beach in seaham... adding that "she quite rude, yet still beautiful!"

    i don't know if its true or not but i don't really care either... it's not everyday you get to chat with a guy like keith... he will be truly missed!

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  8. Keith was out of this world as far as these every day wankers are concerned . His fav saying was ' wanker Dan drives a ford cortina" He was a driver second to none see some of his sports car .. to say nothing of how he could handle a Hilman Imp Van ...very frightening in the passenger seat .
    When we owned the Alfa spider together we went to Kendal and back in the afternoon .... still recovering 59 years later..
    His Batman 1967 -1970

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