Jim Lucas (trumpet) -
My musical life I suppose began at the tender age of seven when my dear old dad
taught me to play the harmonica. When I started big school. I was totally
overwhelmed by the sound of Brass Band to which I enrolled and so, was well and
truly hooked. I soon progressed from Trombone to Euphonium, and then settled
down on French horn, with which I joined the Merseyside Youth Orchestra. (At the
same time as Sir Simon Rattle. This is my childhood claim to fame). After
leaving school I found myself joining the Camel Laird Brass Band, (on Tenor
Horn), for two years. So, after a classical start to life, I met my father in
law to be, Len Smith who had his very own dance band working the local clubs. (I
was well impressed, in fact so impressed I bought a Trumpet joined his band and
married his daughter). One of the first 'trad' bands I joined were a group of
musician Doctors rehearsing for a hospital show. They have today evolved into
the rioters with just one Doc. Remaining. Other bands in which I am a regular
player are, the Dixiekings, Big Easy and the Savoy Jazzmen. I also deputise with
several others including the Wirrorleans, the Parade, the Merseysippi J B, and
anyone else who will have me. My favourite all time Greats are Ellington, Louis
Armstrong, the Gershwin's and that awesome all round musician James Morrison.
Bart Poole (Trombone) -
I started playing with the Tony Gerrard Band on drums in 1956 and moved to
trombone (which I had been learning secretly), when the band trombonist left to
go to London University. I had also been playing banjo and guitar with the
Livertown Jazz Band and string bass with the Newton Ellis Sextet until my Father
advised me to make up my mind what instrument to play! The band went through
various changes of name and personnel, including The Tailgate Ramblers and
finally, in 1959 , became the Savoy Jazzmen. I remained with the Savoy until I
"retired" in June 1976 only to be persuaded by Mike Hardaker to start playing
again, with his Memphis Six, in the following September. When the Memphis ran
out of work in 1978, I joined Carl Thompson's Climax Band and freelanced with
various bands including Ray Hayes Roaring Forties Band, the New Orleans Express
and I finally joined the Mathew Street Ragtime Band in 1987 when they were at
Flanagan's Apple in Mathew Street. The Mathew Street band changed its name to
the Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band on January 1st 2005 due to changes in
Keith Jones (clarinet) RIP -
Keith passed away suddenly in the early hours of 30th March 2018.
Keith was born in 1936 in Sheffield. He started playing the piano at eight and
at Grammar school his interest in music developed, particularly inspired by a
fiery young Welsh music teacher who introduced him to choral music and persuaded
him to take up the clarinet when he was fourteen. He played in the school
orchestra and, then later in the Sheffield Cooperative Orchestra and for
musicals. This was all classical music - which he still loves - and he had
little knowledge of Jazz until he was roped in to a scratch Jazz Band for the
University Rag Day. He had no idea how to improvise and had to learn fast!
Fortunately, the Trad Jazz revival of the 50's was in full swing and he started
to learn by listening to Humphrey Littleton, Ken Colyer and Chris Barber and
fell in love with the playing of George Lewis. The Scratch Band became the
Sheffield Crescent Jazz Band and, with John Shillito on trumpet, he also formed
the Gloryland Jazz Band.
Keith moved to Merseyside in 1961 and played for most of the 70's in the
Wirral-based Panama Jazz Band (now the Original Panama Jazz Band), sharing the
clarinet seat with Dave Thomas. Pressures of work in the 80's meant that he had
to give up playing regularly but when he retired in the late 1990's he started
to play again, depping in most of the Wirral bands and enjoying the challenges
of adapting to their different styles and not just playing New Orleans Style.
In 2004 (????), when the Downtown Dixielanders was formed, Keith took the
clarinet seat and very much enjoys playing with the band in the unique
atmosphere of the Marlborough in Liverpool. He still loves the playing of George
Lewis, but now has a much wider appreciation of clarinet playing styles, and
particularly likes Sydney Bechet and Sandy Brown, as well of course as Benny
Goodman and Artie Shaw. He doesn't try to emulate any of these especially, and
hopes that he simply sounds like Keith Jones!
Keith remains a musical all-rounder and is a crunch organist and choirmaster and
his classical background sometimes shows through in his Jazz playing style.
Peter Campbell (bass) (RIP
13/01/17) - I started playing as a teenager and formed a
band with 3 friends. In the late fifties I played at the 21 Jazz Club and with
the 'Bags Whatwork Band'. I then moved on to play Dance Music with the Ray
Humphries Big Band and later with Ray's Five Piece Band. After working in clubs
for fifteen years mostly backing acts, I moved back into traditional Jazz in
1987 - joining the Mathew Street Ragtime Jazz Band. The band has become 'The
Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band' and we are in our Nineteenth year at the
Marlborough Hotel in Slater Street Liverpool.
Linton Ali (drums) -
Linton Ali Started playing drums as a young man. Joined
local Liverpool band The Incrowd. Left the band to play jazz.
1976: played with the John Stringer Quintet at the Southport Arts Centre.
1977: played Tuesday nights at the Corkscrew (North John Street) with Linton
Ali/George Carroll Quartet.
1979: Ran Hunts cross Jazz Club. Had many famous guests, Johnny Patrick Trio
with Tenor Sax Nick Morrisey, French group, The Hot Antic Jazz Band, famous
American, Al Casey Trio who played with Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong also
from America, Harold Singer who played with Duke Ellington. I then played at the
Poulton Vic for a number of years as a resident drummer.
1985: Mathew Street Ragtime Jazzband. Played at Flanagan's Apple.
1988: Moved to the Marlborough Hotel in Slater Street. Changed name of
band to Downtown Dixieland Jazzband, still at the Marlborough on a Wednesday.
John Corley (Banjo) -
1957: Started with Skiffle groups, appearing a couple of times
at the Cavern.
1964: Formed duo with Harry Black: Seasons included, Jersey Guernsey and Great
1965: Three months at 'Your Fathers Mustache (Jack Yeagaiten's old club) on
Bourbon St New Orleans.
1966-1968: At Blackpool with same company.
1968-1976: Back in Liverpool: formed duo's, trios, and quartets, some of which
included Ricky Tomlinson (then known as Hobo Rick) playing local clubs and
1976: Rejoined Harry Black for South African tour, playing Durban, Johannesburg,
and Cape Town.
1982: Went into the licensing trade running pubs including the Clarence, Bootle
and the Atlantic on Liverpool's dock road. Music every night included a variety
of different styles. I played with all along with regular evening playing rhythm
guitar with jazz guitarist Gary Potter.
2003: Appeared with Ricky Thomlinson on The Michel Parkinson Christmas Show for
2004: Started weekly gig with Downtown Dixie at the Marlborough, Slater Street.
Every Wednesday evening: be early!!