The Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band

 

Jim Lucas (trumpet) - My musical life I suppose began at the tender age of seven when my dear old dad taught me to play the harmonica. When I started big school. I was totally overwhelmed by the sound of Brass Band to which I enrolled and so, was well and truly hooked. I soon progressed from Trombone to Euphonium, and then settled down on French horn, with which I joined the Merseyside Youth Orchestra. (At the same time as Sir Simon Rattle. This is my childhood claim to fame). After leaving school I found myself joining the Camel Laird Brass Band, (on Tenor Horn), for two years. So, after a classical start to life, I met my father in law to be, Len Smith who had his very own dance band working the local clubs. (I was well impressed, in fact so impressed I bought a Trumpet joined his band and married his daughter). One of the first 'trad' bands I joined were a group of musician Doctors rehearsing for a hospital show. They have today evolved into the rioters with just one Doc. Remaining. Other bands in which I am a regular player are, the Dixiekings, Big Easy and the Savoy Jazzmen. I also deputise with several others including the Wirrorleans, the Parade, the Merseysippi J B, and anyone else who will have me. My favourite all time Greats are Ellington, Louis Armstrong, the Gershwin's and that awesome all round musician James Morrison.

Bart Poole (Trombone) - I started playing with the Tony Gerrard Band on drums in 1956 and moved to trombone (which I had been learning secretly), when the band trombonist left to go to London University. I had also been playing banjo and guitar with the Livertown Jazz Band and string bass with the Newton Ellis Sextet until my Father advised me to make up my mind what instrument to play! The band went through various changes of name and personnel, including The Tailgate Ramblers and finally, in 1959 , became the Savoy Jazzmen. I remained with the Savoy until I "retired" in June 1976 only to be persuaded by Mike Hardaker to start playing again, with his Memphis Six, in the following September. When the Memphis ran out of work in 1978, I joined Carl Thompson's Climax Band and freelanced with various bands including Ray Hayes Roaring Forties Band, the New Orleans Express and I finally joined the Mathew Street Ragtime Band in 1987 when they were at Flanagan's Apple in Mathew Street. The Mathew Street band changed its name to the Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band on January 1st 2005 due to changes in personnel.

Keith Jones (clarinet) - Keith Jones was born in 1936 in Sheffield. He started playing the piano at eight and at Grammar school his interest in music developed, particularly inspired by a fiery young Welsh music teacher who introduced him to choral music and persuaded him to take up the clarinet when he was fourteen. He played in the school orchestra and, then later in the Sheffield Cooperative Orchestra and for musicals. This was all classical music - which he still loves - and he had little knowledge of Jazz until he was roped in to a scratch Jazz Band for the University Rag Day. He had no idea how to improvise and had to learn fast! Fortunately, the Trad Jazz revival of the 50's was in full swing and he started to learn by listening to Humphrey Littleton, Ken Colyer and Chris Barber and fell in love with the playing of George Lewis. The Scratch Band became the Sheffield Crescent Jazz Band and, with John Shillito on trumpet, he also formed the Gloryland Jazz Band.

Keith moved to Merseyside in 1961 and played for most of the 70's in the Wirral-based Panama Jazz Band (now the Original Panama Jazz Band), sharing the clarinet seat with Dave Thomas. Pressures of work in the 80's meant that he had to give up playing regularly but when he retired in the late 1990's he started to play again, depping in most of the Wirral bands and enjoying the challenges of adapting to their different styles and not just playing New Orleans Style.

In 2004 (????), when the Downtown Dixielanders was formed, Keith took the clarinet seat and very much enjoys playing with the band in the unique atmosphere of the Marlborough in Liverpool. He still loves the playing of George Lewis, but now has a much wider appreciation of clarinet playing styles, and particularly likes Sydney Bechet and Sandy Brown, as well of course as Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. He doesn't try to emulate any of these especially, and hopes that he simply sounds like Keith Jones!

Keith remains a musical all-rounder and is a crunch organist and choirmaster and his classical background sometimes shows through in his Jazz playing style.

Peter Campbell (bass) (RIP 13/01/17) -  I started playing as a teenager and formed a band with 3 friends. In the late fifties I played at the 21 Jazz Club and with the 'Bags Whatwork Band'.  I then moved on to play Dance Music with the Ray Humphries Big Band and later with Ray's Five Piece Band. After working in clubs for fifteen years mostly backing acts, I moved back into traditional Jazz in 1987 - joining the Mathew Street Ragtime Jazz Band. The band has become 'The Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band' and we are in our Nineteenth year at the Marlborough Hotel in Slater Street Liverpool.

Linton Ali (drums) - Linton Ali Started playing drums as a young man. Joined local Liverpool band The Incrowd. Left the band to play jazz. 
1976: played with the John Stringer Quintet at the Southport Arts Centre. 
1977: played Tuesday nights at the Corkscrew (North John Street) with Linton Ali/George Carroll Quartet. 
1979: Ran Hunts cross Jazz Club. Had many famous guests, Johnny Patrick Trio with Tenor Sax Nick Morrisey, French group, The Hot Antic Jazz Band, famous American, Al Casey Trio who played with Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong also from America, Harold Singer who played with Duke Ellington. I then played at the Poulton Vic for a number of years as a resident drummer. 
1985: Mathew Street Ragtime Jazzband. Played at Flanagan's Apple.
1988: Moved to the Marlborough Hotel in Slater Street.  Changed name of band to Downtown Dixieland Jazzband, still at the Marlborough on a Wednesday.

John Corley (Banjo) - 

1957: Started with Skiffle groups, appearing a couple of times at the Cavern. 
1964: Formed duo with Harry Black: Seasons included, Jersey Guernsey and Great Yarmouth. 
1965: Three months at 'Your Fathers Mustache (Jack Yeagaiten's old club) on Bourbon St New Orleans. 
1966-1968: At Blackpool with same company. 
1968-1976: Back in Liverpool: formed duo's, trios, and quartets, some of which included Ricky Tomlinson (then known as Hobo Rick) playing local clubs and pubs. 
1976: Rejoined Harry Black for South African tour, playing Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. 
1982: Went into the licensing trade running pubs including the Clarence, Bootle and the Atlantic on Liverpool's dock road. Music every night included a variety of different styles. I played with all along with regular evening playing rhythm guitar with jazz guitarist Gary Potter.  
1999: Retired!! 
2003: Appeared with Ricky Thomlinson on The Michel Parkinson Christmas Show for the BBC. 
2004: Started weekly gig with Downtown Dixie at the Marlborough, Slater Street. Every Wednesday evening: be early!!

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