Last updated - Saturday November 06, 2021

Dave Donohoe
22nd May 1940 - 23rd October 2021

24/10/21 - It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend DAVE DONOHOE  He passed away in his sleep, surrounded by his family on Saturday 23rd October 2021  His funeral will be on Thursday 4th November at Oldham Crematorium at 2 - Derek & Trish Galloway

24/10/21 - A lovely man, we really enjoyed his band and we invited him to play at our club in October 2001. An elderly couple went up to him in the interval after the band played a variety of numbers from Country & Western to film music, and said in a challenging manner, "We thought you were supposed to be a New Orleans Band". Dave calmly replied. "No, we are a band that plays in a New Orleans style!".  -

Fred & Barbara Burnett

24/10/21 -  I heard yesterday of Dave's passing from my old friend Frank Brooker. From early 1963 to 1965 we jointly led The Green Leaf Band.  I was known as Barry Kid Bunk Johnson. I live now in a village called Overton, in Hampshire, and think it unlikely that I would be able to come to Dave's funeral. - 

Barry Johnson.

24/10/21 -  Terrible news: such a great exponent of jazz, eloquent to boot. Another significant gone. Our thoughts are with his family. -

Regards Kay and Jon Critchley

24/10/21 - RIP Dave. Dave brought me on in my early days of playing when I joined his band The New Iberia JB and played at the Black Lion Hotel on Blackfriars Street in Manchester/Salford. I was about 16 (1961) and knew nothing about "proper" jazz i.e. New Orleans and was playing with seasoned musicians Don Bridgewood, Ron Pratt, Tony Smith, Dwight Gidney and Dave of course. I have a lot to thank Dave for. -

Charlie Bentley

25/10/21 - First saw Dave when I was about twenty at a pub on Blackfriars Street on the way to a big band gig in Salford. I don't think it was the Black Lion, Charlie. There was this sitting down band with curly pipes, torn jeans (they call 'em 'distressed' these days) any old shirt and gaping plimsolls. I reminded Dave of this when I joined his 'Hi-Life' brass band twenty five years later. He laughed. What a great guy. Sadly missed. Just watched a video of Hi-Life on Youtube at the Cork jazz festival in 1994. Mal Horne, Gordon Petit, Barry Wasson, Dave, John Brunton, Granville Edwards, Mike Taylor and myself. Somehow the video has us walking through somewhere that looks like Alcatraz. Can't recall the 'shoot' but the Guinness sponsored event supplied a lot of free ale!! A video well worth watching. -

Ian Royle

25/10/21 - I Was a member of Dave's band for a number of years and became such good friends of him and the family. He was a great band leader and musician, such sad news.-

Derek Winters

25/10/21 - Oh what shocking news, How unbelievably saddened I am to hear of Dave Donohoe’s passing. I first saw him regularly when he crossed the Pennines to play with Martin Boland’s White Eagles Band at the Beehive in Bradford and I took instant pleasure from his lovely lyrical trombone playing. His style was so much more flowing and expansive than I was then used to. Martin told me he was such a pleasure to work with as both a man and musician. As soon as I discovered his Delph hideaway, a superb jazz club, I became a regular and was amazed by the breadth and variety of the music the wonderful band he led played - all with the spirit of New Orleans as they called themselves later. Recently like all readers of Just Jazz I have been richly amused and informed by his articles and letters, which proclaimed him to be what we knew already, a tremendously warm and genial person with a great fund of jazz stories. You couldn’t read a paragraph without seeing writ large his great love of the jazz life particularly its quirkily amusing elements. Of all my teeming memories of him, one stands out - the night he simply spellbound a huge audience in a local concert hall with the history of jazz he had penned, leading and directing a top band capturing the different styles. Modestly he always referred to himself as ‘just a busker’ but this concert showed what technical skill he possessed. How incredibly sad is his passing.  -

Andrew Liddle

25/10/21 -  I am sorry to hear the sad news about Dave as I enjoyed lots of good times with the Donohoe family and the many musicians who graced his bands.

Dave was always helpful in finding work for Butch Thompson when he was touring the UK as he was when other American musicians needed work.

One of Dave’s proudest moments came in New Orleans in 1972 when he was invited  to play with the Olympia Brass Band at a funeral. Unfortunately Dave only had a pair of brown trousers with him and he thought he would look out of place. But in true Donohoe tradition he joined the  parade and was welcomed by Harold Dejan and his band.

I booked Dave’s band several times for The Festa New Orleans Music in Ascona. They were always well received and Dave usually included a country and western number in his programme which was popular with the broad minded audience.

The last time I saw Dave was at Pete Dyer’s funeral . Now both of them have gone. Two different individuals but  a pleasure to have known.

Terry Dash

26/10/21 -

"We at Ayr Jazz Club were very saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Donohoe.  Dave was a personal friend of mine and he was a great supporter of our club for many years.  We always loved his style of playing and his band were always popular with our members and I shared in many CD projects with him. He will be sadly missed. RIP Dave!"

Stuart McLean
Chairman - Ayr Jazz Club

26/10/21 =

Dave Donohoe was one of the foremost components of the Manchester Jazz Scene for a considerable number of years both as a musician, band leader and promoter. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing after a long and courageous battle with ill health over a number of years that saw him continuing to actively lead his highly respected band for as long as he possibly could. He was a likeable chap who produced his own special brand of New Orleans jazz music that had numerous devotees the length and breadth of the Country and further afield. You have been the ‘keeper of the flame’ for a long time and I offer you my sincere thanks for a job exceedingly well done and for the wonderful legacy that you have left us with your recordings not to mention the memories.

Roger Marshall
Dove Jazz Club

26/10/21 -

Thought you may like to add the attached photos of Dave with others, including my husband, Brian Herbert on guitar at the back, from their visit to the States, to any tributes you may be compiling from all those who knew this great man. (click on photos for larger versions)

Giselle Herbert


26/10/21 -

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Dave Donohoe.  His reputation went before him and I had heard of him some years before we eventually met.  Although we were never fellow bandsmen, our paths not infrequently crossed: I once bumped into him at Euston station (not a gig)!  Dave was a major figure in jazz in the North West and further afield – a true jazz ambassador. 

Dave was never afraid to try something out of the ordinary: pop, folk, country – whatever the source he would perform the tune or song as a jazz feature without making it corny or trivial.  His bands, all of quality musicians, were formed to fulfill his ideas of meaningful jazz. 

Condolences to his family, who can remember him as a figure influential in jazz over many years, and hopefully for a long time to come. -

John Muskett


 It's with great sadness to hear of the passing of Dave Donohoe. Has flown away peacefully on Saturday in the company of his family. I feel privileged to have played with him on many occasions and cherish the memory of his company. An excellent musician, jazz ambassador, and always the perfect gentleman. Our thoughts are with Christine and his family at this sad time. R.I.P. Dave Donohoe.  -

Keith Shone

26/10/21 - Bonsoir Fred,

As you can imagine I was saddened to hear about Dave Donohoe’s passing.  A northwest jazz pioneer if ever there was one.

I am sure one can point to videos and recordings a plenty but, as I like to do, I offer you one of my own.  This is from a session I recorded at The Castle in Bolton on 24th July 1986.  It’s Dave, Dennis Browne & Mal Horne. No doubt others can fill in the names of the bass and drums.  I remember clearly walking into the pub that evening and thinking that I really do need to get myself back into the jazz scene again; and I did. Thanks Dave. -

Graham Martindale

Cakewalkin' Babies

27/10/21 -

Thank you so much for sharing this - I have forwarded it on the rest of my siblings . It’s wonderful hearing everyone’s memories of dad . Please could you leave a message from us all - thanking them for all their kind words ? -

Charlie Nicholsby

27/10/21 -  Greatly saddened by the news of Dave's death. I played with Dave in so many situations over the years that I couldn't start to list them. Notably was the long standing, regular Monday night at the stone built, Barn Bar in the grounds of the Cross Keys, way up the hill, at Uppermill, to a packed house every time. When we discussed doing the gig, the subject of a band name came up ... Dave jokingly suggested  The Rocky Mountain Lounge Lizards. Nothing further to discuss. We all leaped on it. Some jazz was played but with a mix of other stuff, mainly Country and Western as it was called then. Signature Tune "When It's Springtime In The Rockies."

Dave (tbn), yours truly. on reeds, Brian ?? on guitar and banjo. Roger Kenworthy on a 3 string double bass and a succession of drummers, notably Tommy Lloyd, Dennis Grundy and apologies to others. Well it was in the 70s. I lost touch with Dave when he moved to Jockland but bumped into him whenever Martin Bennett's band played  Kirkcudbright Festival and I did the Parade. I was to have met Dave again a few weeks back at a blokey lunch date at The Cross Keys.  A group was meeting with Dave and 5 friends  from in and out of music but ill health prevented my attendance. Dave was there. Another was arranged for next Fri., 29th but .......... At first, it was considered to cancel but then decided to carry on as Dave would have wanted.  Another of Dave's good friends, Derek Galloway.. Tbnist and Temps. 7 Vocalist and Presenter will be in the Donohoe chair.

Very authentic, melodic player, massive repertoire of tunes, astounding humorist. Great loss to the Jazz scene which he served well. I regret the long break in seeing Dave. Some ace gig memories. 

My best wishes and sincere condolences to his loved ones, in their sad loss.

Howard Murray

27/10/21 - What sad news to hear about the death of Dave Donohue. being a southerner, I only got to hear him in person at The Bude Jazz Festival so many great times. I was privileged to have the opportunity to talk with him many times over a drink and learn so much about music and his travels.

Nicholas Waine

28/10/21 -

I first met Dave almost 50 years ago at a Dan Pawson concert in Huddersfield, we were both asked to dep for a couple of numbers with the band Soon after that he rang me and asked me to play in one of his bands, I can thank Dave for basically introducing me to the Manchester Jazz scene. Dave was a very good trombone player with a smooth tone and could play a great melody. We all know of his knowledge and dedication of New Orleans music but he was also a great innovator and introduced country music, pop music and any catchy tune of the day into the repertoire. He always insisted it had to be played in the New Orleans style We have played in each others bands for the last 50 years and I can only sum it up as Very enjoyable sometimes risky, but " never a dull moment."

Dave Pogson

28/10/21 -

Fine Raconteur. Many years ago when Dave was appearing at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival he went with his family, in the afternoon between gigs, to a cinema. The film was ‘Braveheart’. Dave said that he whispered to his family ‘Nobody speak’.

Always really enjoyed listening to his band.

Willie Mack

28/10/21 -

Sad Sad news to learn of the passing of Dave Donohoe. Before moving back to his Lancashire home Dave lived in the village of Auchencairn close to my home in Dumfries.

My last memory of Dave was at a gig I had arranged in Dumfries for Liz Bacon and Sammy Rimington back in May 2017. Dave turned up at the interval to see Sammy and in conversation mentioned that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Sammy invited him on stage to play the final numbers which he did, playing with his usual verve and feeling. A happy memory.

My first meeting with Dave was in July 1988 at the Ascona Jazz Festival, standing together in absolute awe listening to Louis Nelson solo on Let The Rest of the World Go By and receiving two encores I’ll See You In My Dreams and If I Had My Life To Live Over. I have just dug out my recording of that night. Happy Happy memories indeed Dave. It was a pleasure to have known you. RIP

Best Wishes,
Peter Bledge.

28/10/21 -

I first met Dave in the late 1960's and joined the Dave Donohoe band around 1973 and then played continuously with him for over forty years. Lots of great memories and influences in my musical career, with well over 2000 gigs in both UK and many places in Europe, which enabled me to make friends with many many people. Dave was a terrific tailgate and melody trombone player up there with the best, he was also a good raconteur and wit. He was committed to emulating New Orleans Music using a wide variety of material. He will be sadly missed by myself and many others.

Mal Horne

31/10/21 -

Sorry to hear the sad news of Dave's passing. A great loss to the jazz world. RIP Dave.
John, Brian, and The Savannah Jazz Band

31/10/21 -

Dave was a very popular additional resident to our small Scottish village and in particular to the small team of fellow beer and music lovers when we gathered on Friday nights in his self-built log cabin, resplendent with local stone fireplace and North American memorabilia. Very good "craic" indeed on a great variety of subjects. Always a very good fire going- the result of sorties into local woods for logs. His playing with his band locally and in our village hall was outstanding. And ,of course, much appreciation of Christine having to put up with us!

Sadly missed indeed- many happy memories

Auchencairn Cabin Crew....George Brockbank, Roy Wilson, Stuart Ditchburn, Keith Kerrison and Dale Parr

01/11/21 -

I'd seen and liked Dave Donohoe's band, so Dave Wellock and I booked them a couple of times when we were promoting under our 'Heysham Heritage Hall' banner. When we picked up an opportunity from John Minimum (ahem!) to give Duke Heitger an extra gig, we teamed him with Dave's band, who he didn't know. Duke didn't didn't go straight on, and after several numbers were played, I went to the side dressing room to see if he was OK, and found him listening intently, and he turned and said " Just been doing my homework, great band, introduce me at the end of this number ". Fantastic session, and specially when he teamed with Frank Brooker and played some really exciting stuff off each other. Thanks to Dave for his 'best band in the land'. RIP -

Norman Gibson

02/11/21 - So sorry to hear the news about Dave. I’ve plaved with his band on many occasions over the years . He was a fine knowledgeable musician and will be missed. Our condolences to Christine and family.

Ian and Carol McCann.

02/11/21 -

Such a pleasure and privilege to have known Dave since I was 18 and singing at The Black Lion in Salford . He was funny , kind , true to his love of New Orleans music- and musicians. We met Kid Shiek together off the train in Manchester ,in the early 60's, and through those years he remained true and active to The Music with his playing, bands , clubs and the musicians of New Orleans - He played at my Hayfield Festival many times , and was in the marching bands that paraded through the village . This lovely photo by the Manchester Evening News shows Dave at my wedding to Daves Bass player John Johnson on October 22 1988 in Hayfield. Dave was John's best man- and best friend . On the right is our friend trumpet player Derek Winters who played in Dave's band ,and was a director of the festival at that time. What great times we all had! I will remember you with the greatest affection.

Dave Donohoe RIP
Sheila Collier -

05/11/21 -

I was sad to hear about the passing of Dave and saddened more by not being able to attend is funeral.  I recall playing with his band on a few occasions with much pleasure.  Dave had much charisma to go along with his presentation of "nice tunes" played in The spirit of New Orleans.  Our thoughts are with his family. -

Barry and Edna Aldous.

From Facebook -

John Petters : Very sorry to hear this. May he rest in peace.
Bob Ironside Hunt : That's very sad.  R I P Dave x
Richard Slater : Sad news. Dave was a great musician and friendly guy. RIP
Harry Davison : So sad. RIP Dave
Taff Lloyd : Sorry to hear this sad news RIP Dave
Andy Henderson : R. I. P. Dave, sad news. A lovely player, and a gent
Peter Brown : Such a sad loss to the Jazz scene. He was a wonderful musician and a lovely gentleman. He will be very much missed by so many. Condolences to his family. R. I. P. Dave
Melissa Jo Heathcote : Oh no, one of my dad's best friends xxxxx
Phil Lucas : Very sad news RIP Dave
Fraser McCombe : Over fifty years of friendship, R. I. P Dave.
Jeff Lewis : Really sorry to hear that. The band in the sky has just got that bit bigger. RIP Dave.
Richard Knock : Sad to hear, Dave seems to have been around for ever, now a memory, but a good one!
Michael Rhodes : Sad News
Pete Lay : S
ad news indeed, He had been unwell, suffering from cancer, for a long while. My thoughts are with Christine, his family and friends. R.I.P. Dave
George Smyth : Sorry to hear that, he was a great musician, seen him many times at different festivals.

A great photograph from Barrie Marshall of Derek & Dave
leading the Hi Life band at Jack Swinnerton's funeral.


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