Terry Perry
RIP 4th Nov 2019

Photo supplied by David J Finney


05/11/19 - Clive Edwards has just heard from Shelley, that her husband Terry Perry died from a severe stroke yesterday, Monday 4th November at 12.35 midday. He will be greatly missed from the local jazz scene, had run the Big Easy band for many years and was clarinet and sax dep of choice for many bands. He was also an accomplished arranger and vocalist. The Big Easy made two CDs for us to remember him by and lots of love from jazz friends will be there to support Shelley.

05/11/19 -

Terry Perry was a gentle man in the true meaning of the word. I played with him on many occasions and he was a fine player and a pleasure to work with in small groups and his 'Big Easy' Band. RIP Terry. 

Ian Royle

05/11/19 -

I'm very shocked & saddened to hear that Terry is no longer with us. I've only known him for ten years or so but in that time I became a great admirer of his playing and musicianship. He will be much missed. Thanks for letting us know,

Laurie Cooper.

05/11/19 -

This is truly tragic news for Shelley and I am sure everybody involved with any type of music who had the pleasure of playing alongside him will give Shelley all possible support .

My kindest regards to Shelley.
Brian Woods

05/11/19 -

Very sad news about Terry: He was a superb reed player, well respected in the North West and beyond: a great asset to all the bands he played in. We will miss his droll humour and inventive playing. Condolences to Shelley and family:

Jon and Kay Critchley

05/11/19 -

Very sad news. Another stalwart of Merseyside jazz gone from the scene. Deepest condolences to his family.  

John C Dorgan

05/11/19 -

Very sorry to learn of Terry’s death. I had known of him for a long time, although we only played together (both depping) a few times. He was a fine musician. I don’t know whether he was originally from the Wirral, but as a born Wirralian (long since removed) I felt a bond with him. My condolences to Shelley, a lovely lady – I think we first met at the funeral of her brother Kerry, whom I knew through Lymm Folk Club. I’m sure she would agree that the music (jazz, folk, whatever) must go on.

Sadly, but harmoniously,
John Muskett

05/11/19 - What a shock. Terry was a fine musician and a real Gent . He will indeed be very much missed, from all his many friends in the jazz world.

My sincere condolences to Shelly and family.
Peter Darwin

05/11/19 -

So sad to hear this news. He was an accomplished reeds player who performed with the Parade Jazzband many times. He will be greatly missed.

Roy Gregory

06/11/19 -

What a shock. Such an excellent reed player. He has depped with the Savoy Jazzmen over the years and was a true professional. He will be sorely missed.

Condolences to Shelley and his family.
Peter Swensson ( Savoy Jazzmen)

06/11/19 -

Dear Fred, Sad news I played with Terry many times, he was a great musician, ex army like myself. My condolences to his family.

Regards - Colin Ball

06/11/19 -

So sorry to hear of the passing of Terry Perry. He was an extremely talented musician and will be missed by many. It was a pleasure playing in his Big Easy big band for all those years and I will always appreciate the help and encouragement he gave my son Phil when he was starting out in jazz.

Jim Lucas

06/11/19 -

It was with great sadness that I heard last night of the passing of a great friend and musician, namely Terry Perry. I am sure that I can speak for all the members of the Merseysippi Jazz Band and former members of the Big Easy band in our expressions of shock and sympathy for his wife Shelley. He did much to promote jazz on Merseyside and he will be very much missed by all who knew him.

Peter and Pat Fryer.


My first response to this was Oh no! Not Terry! I never played in his Big Easy band, but as you say he was a very popular dep on reeds, and a favourite one with the Tuxedo band in Wallasey. When I re-started playing clarinet again a couple of years ago, Terry gave me a lot of encouragement and we started a little feature of clarinet duets into our Thursday night programmes at the Wallaseyans club, which happily have continued with the encouragement of our regular musician Gerry Owen. Terry was a lovely, unassuming man with such a sensitive approach to his music, he will be a serious loss to jazz. My condolences to Shelley and indeed to all, and there will be many, who are deeply affected by his passing.

Richard Knock

07/11/19 -

So sorry to hear this sad news about Terry.

He was a fantastic musician and a wonderful role model for me in my early days in the world of jazz. I joined Terry’s Big Easy Big Band at fourteen years of age. This allowed me to begin learning jazz tunes and to start improvising in a positive and safe environment surrounded by many superb jazz players. Terry always offered great advice and was very encouraging. Indeed, he was always keen to give new players a chance and was keen to recruit youngsters into band. My 18 years in the Band were fantastic and I will always be grateful to Terry for the opportunity he gave me.

My thoughts and prayers are with Shelly and the family at this time.
God bless Terry
RIP - Phil Lucas

07/11/19 -

I am so sorry to hear the news. I used to look forward to a gig with Terry and will miss him greatly

Michael Swift

07/11/19 -

Very sad to hear the news about Terry. I'd known him for many years but more especially after Terry founded Big Easy and asked me to join on piano. Throughout the nearly 20 years of the band, Terry was kind enough to tolerate my playing and anarchic comments with wit and good humour. Initially at the Victoria Hotel in New Brighton and in the latter years at the Melrose Hall in Hoylake, our monthly gigs attracted an enthusiastic and faithful following. But it was becoming more difficult to find deps and towards the end of 2018 Terry decided that the band's final gig would be in December, although he did intend to mark the band's 20th anniversary with a one off in November 2019. Sadly, because of ill health, this never took place. We'll all miss Terry's leadership and fine playing and the opportunity to be part of a different sort of jazz band. He was a true gentleman and Helen and I will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with Terry's wife Shelley. The photos were taken at our final gig.

John Hill

07/11/19 - Quite a shock to read of Terry’s passing, enjoyed his playing for over twenty years.

RIP Terry. Jazz in the north-west will not be the same without your much enjoyed contributions.

Thank you. Martin and Kath Snow

09/11/19 -

Terry was a truly fine and irreplaceable musician; he will be greatly missed. He was also a very pleasant person with a great sense of humour. It has been a pleasure and privilege to both play with him, and to listen to his playing.

My sincere condolences to Shelley.

Geoff Parker

10/11/19 -

 I was upset to read about Terry Perry.I didn’t know him all that well apart from him depping with Jazz Rag which he did about 10 days before he died. Shelley sat with us, and was her usual dancing self. Thoughts are with her, and the family.

R.I.P Terry, Brenda Canty-Forrest

11/11/19 -

So sad to hear of the sad loss to Shelley, his family and many friends who enjoyed his superb musicianship. We heard him many times over the years – always a treat.

I remember him sitting-in with the Wirrorleans Jazz Band at Ma Boyle’s Oyster Bar in Liverpool, and he joined the late Don Lydiatt in a wonderful duet. Afterwards I expressed my appreciation to them both – Terry as ever the modest gentleman. Don’s response – “It’s so easy to play with Terry – he’s a listening musician.”

RIP Terry, thanks for the memories.
Terry Birkinhead.

08/11/19 -

So sad To hear Fred had passed away. I enjoyed playing with him, he was a true Gentleman of Jazz. One of the the brightest.lights of the North West music scene has gone out...

My sympathy to Shelley and his Family
Tony Dunleavy


12/11/19 -

Some twenty-odd years ago, when I was still living in the Netherlands, I was speaking on the telephone with Malcolm Hogarth, and he was raving about Terry Perry, a 'new' clarinetist who had appeared on the Merseyside scene. At first I imagined that Terry would be a jokey, clownish performer - something to do with his rhyming names (which have always amused me), but when I met and played alongside him a year or two later I knew that I couldn't have been more wrong. Terry did have a sense of humour, as is well attested among these tributes, but it was immediately obvious that he took his music very seriously indeed and was extremely knowledgeable about jazz of all kinds. I wish we had worked together more often. Apart from one-or-two outings with his Big Easy, I only had that privilege when he was depping with other bands I was also playing in, but those experiences were enough to leave me in no doubt that we have lost an expert clarinettist, saxophonist, vocalist and band-leader.

Allan Wilcox

12/11/19 -

So sorry to here the the passing of Terry Perry. I played in his big band for a while and played along side him on many occasions with other bands. Condolences to Shelly his wife and family.

Stan &  Glenys Williams

Messages via Facebook

R.I.P. Terry, that's awful news. Not seen him for a while, but always a thoroughly nice guy. Thoughts are with his family at this time.

Andy Henderson

RIP Terry, our deepest sympathy to the family, a sad loss. Could this image (at the top of this page) be passed on to Shelley in some way through closer contacts. Taken in Speke, Liverpool in May 2017 at a charity function.

David J Finney

So sorry to hear that. Terry was s great player and band leader. Condolences to his family and friends

Annie Long

Sad news RIP Terry.

Allan Robinson

I'm so sorry to hear this.

Andrew MacKenzie


Harvey Duck

All a bit sudden.... still sinking in.:- Shock to hear about Terry Perry. I've not seen him for a number of years, but he was always a superb reed player and arranger, with the guts to start a big band playing his type of music. Please allow me to pass on condolences from all at Speakeasy Bootleg Band. He will be sadly missed.

Jeff Lewis



02/12/19 -

This was a fitting tribute to a brilliant reeds player who was acknowledged by all who had the privilege to know him as a true ‘Gentleman of Jazz’.

A parade band of 18 musicians was led by Grand Marshall Peter Crowden from the cemetery gates to the chapel, and also played following the service. 7 other musicians were in attendance along with 200/300 friends who packed the chapel for the service in which moving tributes to Terry were paid by his family and in particular by his widow Shelley’

Later at the Devon Doorway restaurant in Heswall, various musicians joined in a much appreciated jam session. The huge crowd attending this funeral was an indication of the admiration and respect for this superb musician, who was such a lovely man.

Terry Birkinhead

02/12/19 - Today was the funeral of my beloved husband, Terry Perry - and what a day it was! Jazz musicians and brolly paraders gave of their all, helping to make what is inevitably a sad occasion into a time of real celebration - of Terry, of jazz music, of family, friends and community. I hope you won't mind - via your website - passing onto all concerned my heartfelt gratitude and that of our extended family. It made me feel immensely proud to be part of the North West Jazz community and I had so much positive feedback from family and friends, saying how much they had enjoyed the parade and the music, both at the Crematorium and at the wake. I know that a number of musicians had gigs this evening and that makes me all the more grateful that they were prepared to give so much of their time and effort. Then there were the musicians who weren't playing, but were there to pay respects to Terry and I loved hearing their reminiscences about him. A very Big Thank You to them.

We did mention your website in the Order of Service, but I would like to say to you personally, thank you so much for providing a forum for tributes to - and memories of - Terry. Many of the jazz community had known Terry much longer than I had (thirteen years) and it was a great comfort to me and our family to be able to read comments from jazz musicians from all periods of his life.

Yours very sincerely
Shelley Perry

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