Derek Daniels

29/09/35 - 22/03/15

22/03/15 - I've just heard from Derek Daniels' wife and son that Derek passed away this morning after a lengthy battle against cancer. Derek was a musician and played various instruments in his life, and although I only heard him play keyboard, I knew he had a drum kit and could play trumpet. He was also a jazz promoter, and ran Moor Park Jazz Club before moving to The Crofters Hotel at Garstang where he continued to put on various bands. His heart was really into big band music, but he enjoyed bringing pleasure to those that liked to listen to Traditional Jazz. He will be sadly missed.

Fred Burnett

This article appeared in Lancashire Evening Post 10 years ago

22/03/15 -

Sorry to hear that Fred, I liked Derek a lot although I didn't see him all that often.

Laurie Cooper

23/03/15 -

Very sorry to hear that Derek Daniels has finally left us. He was one of those invaluable people who run the venues at which we musos are fortunate enough to play, and like so many, I always enjoyed appearing for him, first at Moor Park, and then at Crofters. His input into the NW jazz scene was much valued by musicians and is sadly missed.

Jazz promotion can be a thankless task, but Derek stuck to it with hard work and dedication, even on those occasions when support was poor and he had to dip into his own pocket to keep things on track. He was always friendly and down to earth and liked a good chat – if you were in a phone conversation with him, better not be in a hurry to get anywhere!  He knew what styles of jazz he liked (particularly mainstream and big band), but was always willing to put on other styles to cater for his audience’s tastes. Above all, as a player himself, he appreciated good musicianship and bands that really swing.

Another great love of his was rugby league, particularly the Wigan Warriors, and as a St Helens supporter I really enjoyed crossing swords with him, thus making the phone conversation even longer!

Many thanks to Derek for all his hard work and sincere condolences to his family.

Keith Allcock.

23/03/15 -

He was a lovely chap and gave great support for jazz as a whole. Our band, The Jazz Gentlemen, always looked forward to our Crofters gig and Derek will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

Derek Skepper

26/03/15 -

Deeply saddened to hear of Derek's passing. He used to come with his son Jack when Jack and I played in the Ray Taylor Swing Band a few years ago. He would sit with my dad (now also no longer with us) and help him when his mobility was deteriorating, I'm sure he prevented my dad from having more than one tumble. Derek was really helpful in providing arrangements when I set up my own big band and for this I will be forever in his debt. A lovely guy who I'm sure will be deeply missed. Thoughts with Jack and the family.  

Paul Marks

09/04/15 -

Derek Daniels was MY sort of jazz promoter. He loved mainstream and Big Band jazz which was why he booked the Peter Frank Allstars. No, this is not a commercial for our band. He loved Martin Boyd on alto and my 'Billy Butterfield' style simply because that was the music he associated with. We played a programme especially for Derek when we went up to Garstang. Thanks Fred for introducing us to Derek's promotion and thanks Derek for the privilege of playing for you. Now come on Young Jack Daniels. You have the trumpet technique to do your Dad proud just as I did when my Dad passed away.  Go for it.

Ian Royle

The Eulogy

Jane E. Boast
Celebration of Life Ministries

Memories and Reflections of Derek’s life.

Derek was born in Wigan on the 29th September 1935 and he has a twin sister Dorothy who lives in South Africa.

As a child he attended Beech Hill school in Wigan where he certainly left a lasting impression as he trapped his fingers in the school gate and left a little bit of his finger behind, sorry it’s a bit gruesome but it’s a story he would share with Jaquie whenever they went by his former school in Wigan.

Jaquie and Jack married 17 years ago and they share one son, Jack, - as a family Jaquie and Jack shared Derek’s love of Wigan in that he was a passionate fan of Wigan Warriors, a passion he shared with Jaquie and Jack and they travelled together as a family to watch their team play both at home and away.

They also travelled, to the Isle of Man, - to the Jazz festivals over there, Derek shared a great love of Jazz with artists such as Nat Gonella.

Going back to Derek’s younger days, as a young man, when Derek entered the world of work he started as a welder on the Ocean Fleet ships in Liverpool Docks where he worked for many years.

Derek moved to the Standish area for a while running the Langtrees Restaurant in Standish and he then moved to Preston where he played Drums and Trumpet for the Courtaulds Club with his friend Mike who played the organ and he also played for the Holy Family Club.

Derek was a very talented and accomplished musician and he was self taught, it is a measure of the man to work as hard as he must have done, not just to learn to play a musical instrument, - which is difficult enough – but to learn to play multiple instruments - and to be good enough to do it as a profession, shows, - self discipline, - - dedication and hard work, Derek should be admired and applauded for his tremendous achievements.

Derek’s talents, however, were not just confined to his personal musical talents but also to include his skills in running the Moor Park Jazz club and the Crofters Jazz Club in Garstang.

His skills also included teaching and motivating, - as can be borne out by his son Jack whom he taught to play the trumpet to a level that has seen him playing with the Lancashire Youth Orchestra and the Blackburn and Darwen Big Band.

What an amazing legacy, to be able to motivate someone who was, by his own admission, - at first reluctant, - but now so very grateful that Derek persisted in his teaching Jack to a level where Derek stated that Jack had become so proficient that Derek felt could not teach Jack any more, - as the pupil had become a better player than the teacher, what an amazing legacy to leave to his son, he must have been so proud of his son Jack’s achievements.

And as a special message, from Jack to his Dad, “Nothing can take away the special place that a Dad has in our heart, and the memories you shared will stay with you always”.

I would now like to share a few words with you and it could be what Derek would say if he could speak to you all here today,


I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days
I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun
Thoughts of happy memories that I leave when I am gone.

Derek was a very special husband and dad and he is at peace now and he will live on in the hearts and minds of his family and friends and all who knew him, forever.

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