Gordon James Pettit
29/12/1940 -  22/12/15


30/12/15 -

My Dad, Gordon James Pettit, has sadly passed away.

He passed away quietly and peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday morning on the 22nd of December 2015.Just 7 days short of his 75th birthday.

He toured all over Europe and rest of the world with many bands as well as performing with many Jazz legends and playing at all the major Jazz festivals.  He loved Jazz music and was a renowned raconteur and character on the scene.  His quick wit and humour were well received and loved.

His wife Margaret accompanied him many times and was well known in the Northwest Jazz scene. Always happy to dance and tap her feet they made a great couple.  Margaret and Gordon's 3 children, Alison, Mathew and Jackie wish him to be remembered with fondness and love. 

In a music career spanning more than 60 years he played with many New Orleans Jazz bands and well known names including:

New Orleans Express
Dave Donohoe Band
Olympia Marching Band
Chris Blount Band
Annie Hawkins Band
Rae Brothers Band
Ron Chesterman
Derek Galloway
Huub Jannsen
Malcolm Horne
Orange Kellern
Jerry Owen
Hugh Gerrard
Jim West
Brian Woods
Dennis Brown
Frank Brooker
John Brunton

Please post this sad news on your website if possible. I am sure that many of his former band mates and colleagues would wish to be informed. The funeral will take place in Liverpool on Monday 4th January, 12:30pm at Springwood Crematorium, Rosemary Chapel, Springwood Avenue, Garston, Liverpool L25 7UN, United Kingdom

Donations to Dementia UK are requested (cheque only) rather than flowers.

Kind Regards
Mathew James Pettit


Very sorry to hear that Gordon has passed away. For many years he and I worked in the same office building in Liverpool, and many times chatted about our mutual love of the music, he was indeed a very sympathetic drummer and it is really sad that yet another northwest jazz musician has now left us.

Richard Knock

30/12/15 -

Please could you pass on the condolences of the Merseysippi to the family of the late Gordon Pettit, whom I have not seen for quite a few years since his time with Hughie Gerrard and New Orleans Express. I was introduced to him by the late Robin Tankard. Another member of the jazz fraternity has passed on.

Peter Fryer

03/01/15 -

I played in the NEW ORLEANS EXPRESS with Gordon for a number of years .It was some of the most fun filled years of my 42yrs playing. Gordon was an excellent New Orleans style drummer and also worked very well in a swing style trio with Laurie Renton on piano and myself. We played festivals all over Europe travelling in a van, with Gordon, Geoff Coates (banjo/guitars) and myself locked in the back. The beer was free flowing and the fun immense the jazz was pretty good as well.

I could write a book about the fun and indeed GEOFF COATES did.  Rest in peace now Gordon you have been and always will be in my thoughts.

Jim West

03/01/15 -

Very sad to hear that Gordon Pettit has passed away. As a drummer of similar genre our paths hardly crossed but I recall well the day I first heard Gordon play. I had, in my early twenties, "retired" from playing jazz of the “traditional” nature but the eventual frustration of seeing my kit languishing in the garage eventually led me to go to listen to bands in and around the Bolton area to where I had moved. At The Castle there was a weekly jazz session featuring different bands, one of which was Dave Donohoe’s Band. I really did enjoy Gordon’s style on that night and from then on vowed that, when I started to play again, I would want to play with New Orleans bands rather than go back to the “trad” I had cut my teeth on. I eventually followed Gordon into Hughie Gerrard’s tender bosom so thank you Gordon for both these things which influenced my life in the jazz world.

Graham Martindale

04/01/16 -

I first worked with Gordon In the seventies doing dep jobs with New Orleans Express. He joined the Dave Donohoe Band in the early eighties and we worked and travelled together for some 10-15 years. Gordon was a terrific drummer probably in the top ten on the European scene. I got to know Gordon’s family really well and express by deepest sympathy to Margaret, Matthew, Alison and Jackie.

Mal Horne

05/01/15 -

Was great to see several of my Dads former band mates at his service yesterday. Would have liked to have been able to spend a little more time with you to swap stories and anecdotes.

Thank You so much for taking the time out to pay your respects. I know he would have been smiling as I greeted you all"

Thank you Mal Horne, Brian Woods, Jim West and Gerry Owen.

Mathew Pettit


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