Saxophonist Pete Burden passed away just after Christmas. The alto saxophonist worked with pianist Lionel Grigson in the late 1960s in the Grigson/Burden Quintet and spent his later years teaching and performing around Hastings. A master of the bebop style of alto saxophone playing, he was inspired by the great Charlie Parker. Liane Carroll described him as “A wonderful player, very witty and generous man. He shall be missed by many.” A tribute to Pete can be found here in his local newspaper the Hastings & St. Leonards Observer.
Saxophonist Simon Spillett was recently recognised at the British Jazz Awards for Services to British Jazz following his extensive biography of Tubby Hayes together with his work as both a jazz writer and saxophonist. The best vocals award went to Sussex star Liane Carroll, with awards also going to Alec Dankworth and Alexander Bone, both of whom appear this month at the South Coast Jazz Festival.
2017 sees the 100th anniversaries of jazz legends Tadd Dameron, Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Mongo Santamaria and Buddy Rich.
John McLaughlin, Buster Williams, Jack DeJohnette, Alan Skidmore and John McLaughlin will all be celebrating their 75th birthday whilst Harry Connick Jr., Kurt Elling, Tommy Smith, Charnett Moffett, trombonist Steve Davis and Peter Bernstein will celebrate their 50th birthday in 2017.