Biography

Kenny Ball (born Kenneth Daniel Ball on 22 May 1930 in Ilford, Essex; died 7 March 2013) was an English jazz musician, best known as the bandleader, lead trumpet player and vocalist in Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen.

Ball began his career in the 1950s as sideman in bands before forming his own Trad jazz band in 1958. Ball and his band enjoyed the longest unbroken success for bands of their generation, with their hits like “Samantha” and “Midnight in Moscow” remaining popular in dixieland and trumpet circles. Ball’s status rivals contemporaries Acker Bilk and Chris Barber. In March of 1962 Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen reached #2 on the US Billboard charts, with “Midnight in Moscow”.

Ball continued to tour in the 2000s and charted no fewer than 14 Top 30 hit singles in the UK alone, the most by any jazz artist.

The line-up changed greatly over the years, but the following personnel were in situ when the musical ensemble was at its commercial peak:
Kenny Ball (trumpet)
John Bennett (trombone), still in the line-up at the time of Ball’s death
Dave Jones (clarinet)
Ron Weatherburn (piano)
Paddy Lightfoot (banjo)
Ron Bowden (drums)
Vic Pitt (bass, bass guitar)

Edited by KeithJones on 8 Mar 2013, 10:15

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