Louis Lince
22/07/42 - 03/02/20

Photograph kindly supplied by Ray & Jenny Knight


LOUIS LINCE (banjo/guitar) started playing in Stockport in 1957. Moving south to Hertfordshire in 1958, he played in the Colne Valley Six and the Memphis Jazz Band in the early '60s. He played in the early '70s with Mac's (the late Gordon Mackay) New Orleans band. He was a founder member of the Dave Bailey Trio and played in the Ken Colyer All-star bands that toured East Anglia from 1977-83. Louis played with the Cambridge-based Savoy Jazzmen for eight years. 

He formed his own New Orleans band in 1984, and has been leading it in various guises since then. Louis became a full time musician in 1986. He has played in the city of New Orleans itself on many occasions and visits there on a regular basis. He recorded with Tuba Fats and the late Linda Young in 1995. His influences include John St.Cyr, Manny Sayles and Bud Scott. The blues playing of Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix have also played a part in the development of his unique style. He relocated back to Stockport in 2002, where he continues to lead his New Orleans Irregulars and Louisiana Yard Dogs.

04/02/20 -

Our monthly Manchester Jazz residency at High Lane Conservative Club last night came hard-on-the-heels of news that Louis, our banjo player, had died earlier in the day. We missed him last month when he had only just been taken ill, but at that time we didn't know how serious it was or how little time he had left. When Roger Browne announced his having passed away over the microphone, there were audible gasps of surprise and shock throughout the audience.  

Our first number, 'My Old Kentucky Home', was dedicated to Louis's memory. It had long been a great favourite of his, and it was he who had introduced it into our repertoire. When I joined Mart Roger's band five years ago, I had already known Louis for some time, having played with him more than once in Germany and elsewhere. His passionate dedication to the music, his love of New Orleans and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the recorded history of jazz never ceased to amaze me, but he was also a remarkably practical man. Following the tragic loss of Mart last year, it was Louis, with his gift for organisation, who took over the arduous roles of hustling for gigs, booking deps where necessary and setting up the PA.  How terrible that all that can have been lost in such a short time! -

Revd Allan Wilcox.

04/02/20 -

Can I record my sadness at the death of Louis Lince. I had encountered him a couple of times before he moved back north, and our paths crossed not infrequently afterwards. He was an excellent banjoist, with whom it was a pleasure to play. I would support Allan W’s endorsement of his love and knowledge of the music and dedication to its preservation. To me he was one of life’s nice guys. My sympathy to Jill. -

John Muskett

These photos taken at St Asaph Cathedral in Apr 2018, kindly supplied by Martin Snow

05/02/20 -

Louis quite often came to the Widnes Jazz club the last time was shortly before Christmas .He was an excellent player and a lovely man who always had time for a chat . He will be very sadly missed .My deepest condolences to his family

Karen Finney

05/02/20 -

So very sad to learn that Louis has passed away. It has been a privilege to have known Louis for a long time. What a lovely gentleman and a truly great musician, who will be sadly missed. Please accept Karla and my sincere condolences. R.I.P Louis

Peter Brown

05/02/20 -

It has been an honour and privilege to have known Louis. He has played with the Savoy Jazzmen twice a month for the last three years or so at our residency in Widnes. A fine player with a great personality & sense of humour. His dedication to New Orleans music was unmatched.

Our condolences to Jill, his girls and Manchester Jazz.

Peter Swensson (Savoy Jazzmen)

05/02/20 -

So sorry to hear about Louis. He played with the Savannah Jazz Band for about 7 years from 2005 to 2012 after Jack Cooper had to retire from playing because of his arthritis.  We had lots of memorable occasions on our travels some better than others but mainly good ones.  We were both on the same wavelength as far as the New Orleans music was concerned.  He had an amazing knowledge of New Orleans whether it be the music, musicians or places of interest.  He was also the publisher of "New Orleans Music Magazine", incorporating Footnote, and supplied lots of recorded material by mail order. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. -

Brian Ellis on behalf of the Savannah Jazzband.

06/02/20 -

Our friend and mentor Louis Lince died of a brain tumour on Monday. His great knowledge of New Orleans jazz and of the Northern Jazz scene of the UK made possible the Ray and Jenny Knight “Rayk jazz” documentaries about jazz bands "Oop North" . He was script writer, narrator and organised the many bands for these projects, and was working on a fourth documentary with us when he was sadly, taken ill. -

Ray & Jenny Knight

Bouncing Around by The Louis Lince Big 4 courtesy Rayk Jazz

07/02/20 -

So sorry to hear about Louis, a fine player.  He was always willing to dep for me.  He will be missed.

Ian McCann for the Harlem Hot Stompers.

07/02/20 -

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of that stalwart of the British Jazz Scene Louis Lince. His encyclopedic knowledge of all matters ‘New Orleans’ will be greatly missed not to mention his musicianship and administrative talents.

These days people with Louis’s capabilities are exceedingly difficult if not impossible to replace in our musical sphere. Our thoughts are very much with Jill and the family.

Dove Jazz Club

I got to know Louis through Dave & Carol Copperwaite who lived round the corner from him but can only recall playing with him a couple of times.

I knew him more through his involvement with New Orleans Music magazine and I think more should be said about that involvement. He took over, reluctantly or otherwise I know not, when Pete Horsfield died suddenly in June 1995.

Louis’ reign as publisher lasted over fifteen years and he worked closely and tirelessly with editors Mike Hazeldine and then Doug Landau to continue to produce a wonderful little magazine full of up to date New Orleans jazz news, interviews and biographies. The magazine finally came to an end with volume 15 No.6 in December 2010.

I have the full set but am delighted to see that they are all now (like Laurie Wright’s Storyville Magazine) available, with Louis' blessing, on a web link:

Graham Martindale

See also https://traditional-jazz.com/blog/169-louis-lince-an-appreciation

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