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The Big Chris Barber Band
Friday 2nd June 2023 at 8:00 pm

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.


Refreshments will be available for purchase (Cash Only) during the performance, before it and during the interval.

Artist Information

Chris Barber

Influencial Jazz Musician

Trombonist and bandleader Chris Barber was one of the most influential jazz musicians in the European region with a career which spanned the period from 1949, when he formed his first amateur band, to his retirement from the stage due to ill health in 2019 after 70 years of touring continuously in Britain, Europe and America.

Chris’ love of jazz began with a large record collection that set him on his path to becoming a musician.
His music was based on the Traditional Jazz Revival, but never remained strictly limited to it. He was always open to other musical influences and integrated them into his music according to his musical taste. This also applied to other musicians, whom he over and over again invited to his recording sessions in the studio or to accompany him and his band on numerous tours. Furthermore, it was always irrelevant whether he played together with jazz, blues or rock musicians.

Musically, Chris Barber was a personality who opened doors, who inspired listeners and who never stopped at what he had achieved. On the occasion of his death two years ago the record company wrote that “We will never see his like again“. Appreciation for this great musician could not be better.

Chris Barber’s legacy to the British and European music scene started with a love of 1920s American jazz and blues. Together with Trumpeter, Ken Colyer (who was one of the first British players to make it to New Orleans and play with the “Old Guard” of American Jazz Musicians.) Chris’s band aimed to reproduce the New Orleans sound as authentically as they could. This became the beginnings of the British “Trad Jazz” scene. After Ken and Chris parted company, Chris and members of his band were also responsible for the introduction of many American blues artists to Britain in the 50s and 60s including Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The 80s saw a collaboration with Dr John with the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, leading to Chris’ appearance at Glastonbury in 2010 as a guest with the Dr John Band.

He was involved in the foundation of the Reading Jazz & Blues festival and was also co-owner of The Marquee Club which saw the start of many of Britains most famous bands.

Over the years the band has featured some of of Britains best jazz and blues musicians including Lonnie Donegan, the original Banjo/Guitar player who started the Skiffle craze playing during the intervals of the Jazz concerts. Pat Halcox (who replaced Ken Colyer on Trumpet) and Chris hold the record for the longest jazz partnership at 54 years.

Chris dies in 2021 aged 90.

Comprising of 9 of Britains finest Jazz musicians, his band are continuing his musical legacy, performing a selection of classic Barber repertoire ranging from “Trad through Blues to Ellington and Miles Davis.

The programme features Barber classics such as Petite Fleur, Bourbon Street Parade and When The Saints Go Marching In. Plus a journey through many of the other genres that the band has explored over the years.


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The Arts at St. George's