Thursday, 7 March 2013
Kenny Ball RIP
Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball has died at the age of 82 after suffering from pneumonia, his manager has confirmed.
He was best known as the lead trumpet player in the band Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen in the late 1950s and 1960s and for his regular TV appearances with comic duo Morecambe and Wise.
Ball's manager, Les Squire, said that the musician passed away on the morning of 7 March.
"If he could have been on stage tomorrow, he would have been," he said.
Squire said Ball had been ill for a number of weeks and that he had been holding off on bookings until he was better.
His son Keith has been fronting his father's band at their recent performances and will do so again on Friday at a scheduled concert in Grantham, Lincolnshire that will also feature Acker Bilk, Chris Barber and their respective bands.
Born in Ilford in north-east London, Ball left school at 14 to be a clerk in an advertising agency and started taking trumpet lessons.
He turned professional in 1953, playing with the Sid Phillips and Eric Delaney bands, before forming his own group, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, in 1958.
The band had their first hit record, I Love You, Samantha, in 1961. Other successes included Midnight in Moscow, March of the Siamese Children and I Want To Be Like You.
He supported his idol Louis Armstrong in 1968 during his last European tour and played at the wedding reception for the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981.