Ken Colyer

Genres: Jazz Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

18 April 1928, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, d. 8 March 1988, France. Of all the musicians involved in the British revivalist movement of the late 40s and early 50s, trumpeter Colyer was the only one to achieve the status of a jazz legend. He achieved this through a gritty determination to adhere to what he believed to be the true spirit of jazz. Colyer first demonstrated his obsession with the great traditions of New Orleans jazz in the early 50s. He joined the Merchant Navy in order to visit the USA, where he promptly jumped ship and headed for the Crescent City. In New Orleans he sat in with local grandmasters, including George Lewis and Emile Barnes, before the authorities caught up with him and he was deported. Before his visit to the USA, Colyer had already worked with the Crane River Jazz Band and the Christie Brothers Stompers, but his American exploits had made him a big name in the UK and he was invited to front the co-operative band formed a little...

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