Jazz legend Sir John Dankworth dies

The veteran saxophone player was musical director for Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald

Jazz legend Sir John Dankworth dies

Photo: PA Photos

Veteran British jazz musician Sir John Dankworth died yesterday (February 6) aged 82.

The saxophonist and musical director, who passed away in hospital in London, worked as the musical director for stars such as Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as fronting a number of his own bands, including The Dankworth Generation Band and The Dankworth Seven.

He also composed a number of popular television theme tunes, including those for The Avengers and Tomorrow's World.

His wife, singer Cleo Laine, announced his death at a concert at the couple's theatre in Buckinghamshire last night. Dankworth's agent Jim Murtha later told the BBC: "For British jazz and jazz around the world, I believe John has become such an international figure, particularly since he became Sir John Dankworth a few years ago."

After learning of his knighthood in 2006, Dankworth revealed his joy to the BBC, saying: "It's so nice for jazz to get something like this. As far as I know I'm the first from the jazz world to get a knighthood. I've played jazz for 65 years, with the great jazz men. For some reason I've been in the right place at the right time."

Johnny Dankworth, as he was commonly known, leaves behind his wife and two children, both jazz musicians.

Read More On This Artist

More News
The Decemberists tease new single 'Make Me Better' - listen
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder covers John Lennon, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan at tiny gig
Dizzee Rascal shares gory Halloween video for 'Couple Of Stacks'
U2's Bono calls 'Seasons (Waiting On You)' by Future Islands "a miracle"
Arcade Fire release short horror film with James Murphy, Fleet Foxes and the National - watch
Damon Albarn swims with sharks in radio documentary
Bob Dylan's new album 'Shadows In The Night' to be released in 2015
Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder: 'Liam Gallagher should get himself a TV chat show'
John Lydon: 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is an underrated record
Honeyblood open up about drummer's recent departure
Kate Tempest: In the UK 'voting does nothing to change the system'
Billy Corgan rules out playing 20th anniversary gigs for 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite...
The Libertines' Gary Powell to perform with pop newcomer Iris Gold at Jack Rocks The Macbeth
Gengahr announce last-minute London gig
Peta criticises One Direction for featuring chimp in new 'Steal My Girl' video
Kasabian cover the 'Ghostbusters' theme – listen
Jamie T kicks off first tour in four years with rowdy Bristol gig
Girls star Lena Dunham says Taylor Swift 'sings my story'
Flying Lotus releases twisted 'Ready Err Not' video – watch
'Blurred Lines' copyright dispute will go to trial in 2015, judge rules
Ibiza Rocks organisers announce new festival in Croatia
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' named Spotify's most popular Halloween song

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM