Digby Fairweather

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Digby Fairweather (born April 25, 1946 in Rochford , Essex , England ) is a British jazz musician ( cornet player , trumpeter , singer) and author .

Live and act

Fairweather began his career as a professional jazz musician in 1977, having previously played with various local Essex jazz bands for seven years; his first album was written in 1975. He also worked as a bookseller and dealt with jazz bibliographies and archives. In 1977 he co-founded the Keith Nichols Midnite Follies Orchestra , recorded a number of solo albums and played in a quartet called Velvet with guitarists Denny Wright and Ike Isaacs and bassist Len Skeat .

In 1979 he became co-director (together with pianist Stan Barker ) of Jazz College , a non-profit company, and was a member of the Pizza Express All Stars formation . In 1982 Fairweather had their own quartet and played in the band Kettners Five with bassist Tiny Winters . Digby's playing was heavily influenced by Nat Gonella and Louis Armstrong ; his band Digby's Half Dozen was for some years the backing band of the singer George Melly . He also accompanied the former Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones on a number of blues and jazz performances. In addition to his work as a cornet player and band leader, Fairweather pursued a second career as a respected radio writer and book author in jazz history, such as the book Jazz - The Rough Guide together with Ian Carr and Brian Priestley , in the Fairweather especially for the jazz musicians of traditional jazz and swing was responsible.

In 1985 he played in a sextet directed by Brian Priestley and wrote the book How to Play Trumpet . At the time, he made frequent appearances on BBC broadcasts with Humphrey Lyttelton on the show Best of Jazz . In 1987, Fairweather founded the Association of British Jazz Musicians and the National Jazz Archive . In the same year he became head of the Jazz Superkings . Fairweather brought many jazz musicians to the British Musicians' Union (1990). In the early 1990s he appeared on London Jazz FM radio programs such as Jazz Parade and Jazznotes . In 1994 he started working with the Great British Jazz Band and continued his solo projects. In 2008 he worked at Digby's Place , located in the Railway Hotel , Clifftown Road, Southend on Sea, Essex. He is the patron of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival, succeeding the late Humphrey Lyttelton .


The BBC Jazz Society recognized him as Musician of the Year 1979; at the 1993 Cork Jazz Festival he received the Benno Haussman Award . With his Half Dozen , which included Craig Milverton , he won the British Jazz Award in 2005 and 2006 .

Discographic notes

  • Songs for Sandy ( Hep , 1970, 1982) with Tony Coe, Brian Lemon
  • A Portrait of Digby Fairweather ( Black lion , 1979-84)
  • Jubilee ( Candid Records , 1993) with The Great British Jazz Band
  • Squeezin 'the Blues Away ( FMR Records , 1994)
  • Things Ain't That What They Used to Be (Robinwood, 2003)
  • Notes from a Jazz Life (Acrobat, 2020)



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