Denis Gilmore
RIP 21/04/19

Photo supplied by Sheila Collier

21/04/2019 -

Just heard on a Facebook post from his son Pete, that Denis Gilmore sadly passed away in California this morning, having emigrated there in the 80ís.  Denis was a well known and very fine trumpet player on the Manchester scene in the 50ís 60ís era. Mainly with Pete Haslam, and also Johnny Tippets Jazzman among others. He continued to play for many years in the US. RIP Denis.

Des Hopkins.

23/04/19 -

Denis Gilmore

Such fond memories of lovely Denis Gilmore.

In the early 60s with the Southside Stompers.  He was a good friend and lovely trumpet player.  He worked for Echo Instruments as a rep going into East Germany and Poland in the old cold war days.  My best wishes to his family

Sheila Collier

Photos supplied by Sheila Collier

1971 at our Jazz Club . The Midland , West Didsbury Manchester .
The Smoky City , - Malcolm Smith ,Trombome Denis Gilmore ,Trumpet , Bob Jones Drums, John Hallam , Clarinet , Geoff ? Double Bass, Sheila Collier

And with George Melly as a guest .

I remember Denis from about 1955, when we started The Oriole jazz band in North Manchester and Pete Kennedy joined us and introduced us to The Crescent.  I believe he was in the RAF at the same time as Pete Haslam when they were doing National Service, and formed a friendship as many servicemen did in those days through their experimenting with jazz.  He also played cornet in a brass band, I think, in Middleton, where he lived.

I joined The Crescent Jazz Band in January 1959 and we were very popular in Manchester jazz clubs. I lived a couple of miles away from him and he picked me up in his Fred Dawes van to take me to gigs. he was a TV engineer then.

I left the band in 1962 when we moved to North Wales, but Denis, Pete Haslam and their wives and sometimes children, Pete Kennedy and other musicians we knew often came, especially when the band we had there played at a lovely Charity gig at a millionaires house (good job we had a big guest house then, so they could stay).

When he had his new job and was travelling to Europe we lost touch due to busy lives, but when I found your site and spoke to Joe Silmon who knew everything, We started to  correspond.

It was 2015 when he was diagnosed with Stage3 prostate cancer and he had lots of radiation treatment etc., but still liked his gardening and managed to go on odd gigs on piano keyboard. He and his wife, Samantha, then moved to another house and he didnít have his lovely garden ,and I think he found it hard not able to do two of the things he loved and I guess that it was then that he found life hard.

I am sending this to let you know what the part of his life was before he moved to San Diego, maybe others can fill you in on the middle section, but he deserves the recognition as part of the jazz history in the North West.

I hope this gives you an idea of the happy, sometimes zany, talented chap he was in the Manchester jazz scene.

Brenda Canty -Forrest

27/04/19 -

So sorry to read about the death of Denis Gilmore. Terrific player. Lovely man, and great company.
Up to him emigrating he was on trumpet with our band for a few years, and prior to that he was the piano player.
Spent some memorable times with Dennis and his wife Sam on a visit to California.
I've lost contact through us both re-locating, so if Peter and/or Des would be kind enough to contact me, I would love to talk to them.

Many thanks
Dave Donohoe
01457 879798

28/04/19 -

Glad to see there is now a tribute page to Denis Gilmore. I was very fortunate to have played drums for several years with Denis here in California with the six-piece band he formed in 1989 to play at the Hangtown Festival in Placerville, California, first called the New Orleans Street Players. (Hangtown was the name given Placerville in the days of the Wild West.) Shortly thereafter the band's name was changed to Gremoli--an anagram of his last name, and it became one of, if not the, best New Orleans-style jazz bands in California. Since the b and was located in Southern California, I could not play all the local gigs as I had to make an 800-mile round trip to play with them on these. They often went as a five-piece "drummerless" group on them, but I made quite a few, staying over with Denis and Sam or Ron Going and his wife, Jan. The fun we had at these local gigs and the festivals we played seemed endless, in retrospect, as did the enjoyment of the music we made. Of that group, sadly I am now the sole survivor.

Denis played cornet with the band until he had to relocate due to work requirements. When he returned after a few years he played occasionally with Gremoli on piano. I always enjoyed both his playing and his company, along with that of his wife, Sam. Both enjoyed flying their airplane, and they did so to several of the festivals Gremoli played at out of state. As we say too often these days, "Another good one gone." -

Bert Thompson

29/04/19 -

Warm memories of sudden arrivals of (Middleton) Brass quartet, playing "tastefully" rendered carols at many Manch pubs at Christmas.

Lovely fella.
Jon White

29/04/19 -

Your report of his passing was a great shock - I never accept that people, me included!, are getting older.

I remember him from the Crescent Jazz Band days, usually at the Sportsman in Market Street, Manchester.

Alwyn Smith

30/04/19 -

My first introduction to traditional jazz was at the Clarendon Hotel where the Zenith Six played to a full house on Friday nights in the late '60s. The frontline would have graced any bandstand: Denis Gilmore on trumpet, Alan Pendlebury on trombone and the leader Mart Rodger on clarinet.

Denis led the charge on all the flag-wavers but had the sweetest tone when the tempo changed to slow and sentimental. I never heard him play again after the pub was demolished because it was in the path of the Mancunian Way but my memories are strong of exceptionally happy and contented nights being entertained by a great set of musicians driven along by Denis.

My two-volume LP set "The Zenith Six Play Jelly Roll Morton" still feed my iTunes library with their splendid sound.

Best Regards

John Simpson.

25/09/19 - Letter reproduced courtesy of Just Jazz Magazine

Dear Just Jazz,

In the June edition of Just Jazz, I saw with great sadness, that my old friend Denis Gilmore had died.

Denis was a great character on the Manchester jazz scene in the late 1950s and 1960s, playing at the Bodega on Cross Street, the Black Lion in Salford and many other venues. He played for quite a while with the Zenith Six.

He was much more than an accomplished jazz trumpeter. He was Chairman of the local Conservative Association and Chairman of the local Middleton Brass Band, where I played cornet. Denis played Eb bass and was good enough, along with Gordon Dean and myself, to be asked to join Barton Hall Works Band in Eccles. This was a well-known concert band, conducted by Oliver Howarth, father of classical trumpet player Elgar Howarth.

Denis also set up a brass quartet comprising of himself on Eb bass, Gordon and myself on cornet, with Pete Haslam, another Manchester jazzer, on trombone. We played at schools, Rotary meetings and the like.

At weekends when he was free, Denis, Gordon and Pete operated as a dance band. If I had no gig with the dance band I played with, I was invited to join them. Depending on availability, two drummers were used. One was known simply as 'Mr Plumrose' due to his job selling canned meats: The other was 'Non-Tangle Action', due to his work with brushes, reminding us of the view inside a 1960s washing machine. Denis was leader, well known for his limited patience with pestering, often inebriated, customers.

Afterwards we would retire to Chinese La's, Middleton's famous, early, Chinese restaurant, run by the delightful Lilian Kwok. Lilian's two daughters are now famous in Manchester as owners of the 'Sweet Mandarin' restaurant in the Northern Quarter and developers of a range of Chinese foodstuffs. We always got favourable rates from Lil, because Denis did her tax returns.

Denis was a good musician, always entertaining company, but a man who didn't suffer fools gladly.

Ron Albiston, Middleton, Manchester

Main Menu

Please visit my Home Page