25/04/38 - 23/03/18
From a cassette recording of Dave performing his “signature vocal” (That same old love)
Dave's interest in Jazz began as a 14-year-old pupil at his school's Jazz Club, where he first heard Bunk Johnson's 'Dark Town Strutters Ball', which got him hooked for life. Later, whilst studying at night school, he was given a cornet, at about the same time as he was seeing bands like Chris Barber's, The Saints, Johnny Dankworth's Seven, Mick Mulligan's and, above all, the Yorkshire Jazz Band, at Keighley Baths. 'I went for New Orleans' music preferentially, but listened to anything I could.' Read more of this article by Andre Liddle from Just Jazz 2008
Our dear friend trumpet player David Copperwaite died today after a long illness. We will post more information and funeral details later. -
Derek and Trish Galloway
I was much saddened to hear, via Derek and Trish Galloway's message, of
the passing of David Copperwaite. I knew him well as we had played
together on many band jobs.
Although we knew Dave had been ill for
some time it was still sad to read today that he had died. Dave appeared
many times at the Harp in Albrighton with his own band, Louisiana
Highway, or with Sarah Spencer's band, often with Derek Galloway on
trombone.... always brilliant sessions. As is said about so many
musicians he was not only a great player but also a lovely guy, it was a
pleasure to meet him on so many occasions.
I've known Dave nearly all my life, as he went to Keighley Grammar School with my elder brother, who was also a jazz lover, and they spent many hours listening and swapping 78s back in the early days. I picked up the bug also and we attended many jazz concerts around the area and beyond. Dave was not the usual fiery redhead, but quite a gentle person and passionate and loyal to his kind of music. He moved away and I moved over the Pennines 40 years ago, so had lost touch, but met him by pure coincidence in Blackpool at a jazz weekend and we had a good, old natter. He came to play for Norman Gibson and I in Overton when Sammy Rimington was on tour, and he had a dreadful cold that evening, but took his medication on stage and carried on as usual, without complaining once. RIP Dave - and to his wife, you were a lucky woman.
So very sad to learn that Dave Copperwaite has passed away. We played together with the Milneberg ‘Boys’ Jazzband at ‘Fox & Barrel Inn’, Cotebrook residency and indeed many functions around Cheshire over several years. His trumpet lead was always strident lifting the rhythm section while ‘worrying’ bar staff for the safety of the optics with his top notes.
His Yorkshire wit was also never far away. Another great miss to the seemingly ever decreasing jazz fraternity.
Thoughts are with is family and fellow musician friends at this sad time.
Saddened to hear of Coppers passing I first met Dave & Carol in the early seventies when Dave was playing with the Donohue band at the crown on Blackfriars street I enjoyed his company many times over the years.
I must admit that I shed a tear when Derek rang me to say that my good friend Copper had finally lost the battle. My initiation into northwest jazz scene started much later than most so I only met Dave in the 1980’s. For whatever reason I seemed to get on well with Carol and Dave and I often used to pop round to Kimberley Avenue just for a cuppa and a chat. When he became ill I visited whenever I could (as you know I live in France now) but not as often as a friend should, something I now deeply regret.
My little cassette player recordings have enabled me to listen to Dave’s wonderful intricate and flowery solos over the years, and his beautiful duets with Dennis Armstrong in the French Quarter Parade Band gigs still send shivers down my spine.
A short video of some clips from our Cork adventure in 1994, filmed at The Gadlys Hotel in Anglesey, a short while before our coach ground to a halt in the middle of nowhere on the way to the Hovercraft (**).
Derek has been a great friend to Dave over recent times but the best photo of Copper & Derek I can find is what is below. Also attached are photos of Copper & Sammy Rimington and one with Dave's best mate Tom Alker.
Video © John and Marie Howell Jazz Club 90
So sorry to hear of Copper's passing. Remember playing alongside Dave and Dennis Armstrong in the Spartan Brass Band in the late 50's and 60's . and for many years the French Quarter at Keighley Gala. Done sit down bands with Dave too over the years. Many happy memories. Rest in Peace mate. Love to Carol.
Dave and I played together
in The French Quarter for some years, and later in the
Milenberg (never quite sure of the spelling) Boys, weekly at
The Fox and Barrel at Cotebrook as shown in one of Graham
M’s photographs. I also depped occasionally with Louisiana
Highway at the Arden Arms, Stockport. Although Dave had firm
opinions on many matters (and true to his heritage did not
hide them) he was very open-minded (and hugely
knowledgeable) regarding jazz. His deep love of New Orleans
music was very apparent, but he was not afraid to venture
much further afield in instrumentation, repertoire and
style. This surely is the essence of jazz. Meryl and I send
our condolences to Carol, with many happy memories of Dave
and sessions that were never dull.
Photo - Barrie Marshall at Jack Swinnerton's funeral
heard Copper on a week-morning BBC radio programme,
presented by I think, Brian Redhead in 1973. I can't
remember the name of the Yorkshire band, but I was impressed
by the clipped off opening notes of the melody. As I was
planning to start the first band in my own name along with
Rod Chambers, Johnson and Ian Rose. I tracked him down and
asked him if he was interested. To our surprise he jumped at
it, left his job and moved to Manchester before he'd found
another one. He didn't have a car, so he was homeless.
Sorry to hear of Dave's passing. I was at
school, (KBG), with him in the early 1950s and played drums
in the first band he ran, The Crescent city band, along
with, among others, the late lamented Malcolm Webb. We must
have made a terrible noise, as none of us could really play
our instruments, but what we lacked in ability we made up in
boundless enthusiasm!! I lost contact with him when he
emigrated over the Pennines, but joined up with him again in
the Eclipse parade band, which we both eventually had to
leave due to a lack of “puff”.