They say "Old trombonists never die, but merely slide away" but speaking personally, we can't let Keith Hockin slide into retirement without marking the contribution he has made to the cause of traditional jazz for nearly fifty years and in particular to our own life during the last ten.
One of the first gigs played by The Antique Six after its formation in 1994 was on Keith's home turf of Sutton in Ashfield and it was appropriate that it was at this same club that Keith played his official farewell gig with the band, to a full house of appreciative fans and friends on Thursday 28th October.
Keith began his playing career in the Nottingham area with the bands of Eric Peat and Brian Wooley nearly fifty years ago and helped fly the flag for New Orleans Jazz in the North Midlands, gigging as far south as London and recording with the Brian Wooley Band
As with most semi-pros the calls of family and career took precedence and Keith spent many years building a world wide reputation in the world of antiques, specialising in Old English oak and pewter, whilst the trombone was relegated to occasional outings.
In the late '80s, Keith found more time to renew his interest and started to play the music that he loves so much, initially with a few like minded friends in the pub local to his antiques business in Stow on the Wold. More gigs followed with The Southern Syncopators and The Thamesdown Jazzband from Swindon from which band evolved The Antique Six - appropriately named for a band playing for the auction houses of
Sotheby and Christie and featured in Antiques and Art Independent!
In the ten years that followed Keith led the band to unforeseen success and The Antique Six appeared at society weddings, antique fairs, jazz clubs and festivals from Scotland to Cornwall, Wales to Holland, making six CDs and winning the Stafford Jazz Society 'Band of The Year' award in 2001/2 on the way.
In part it is that very success which has led to Keith's decision to retire to the world of occasional gigs with local bands. The ever increasing gig list stretching into 2006 and prospect of travelling even further left little room for Old English oak and pewter, and such is Keith's reputation in the world of antiquity they can't do without him, and so it seemed that now was an appropriate time to step off the roller-coaster.
Jackie and I are the two remaining founder members of the band, but I am sure that we speak for all the past and present members of the band as we raise a glass and say "Thanks, Keith for ten vintage years".
Dick and Jackie Chapman - reeds and bass guitar
The Antique Six Jazzband.