The legacy of Chris Barber, a giant of the British Jazz scene lives on as the Chris Barber Big Band plays Monmouth Savoy on May 20. Comprising nine of the finest exponents of jazz in the UK, the show will be a feast of trad jazz through blues to Ellington and Miles Davis.
Chris Barber’s contribution to the British and European music scene started with a love of 1920s American jazz and blues. His band aimed to reproduce the New Orleans sound as authentically as they could. This became the beginnings of the British “Trad Jazz” scene.
Chris’ band were also responsible for the introduction of many American blues artists to Britain in the 50s and 60s including Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Over the years, Chris’ band featured some of Britain’s best jazz and blues musicians including Lonnie Donegan, the original Banjo/Guitar player who started the Skiffle craze playing during the intervals of the Jazz concerts. There were also legendary Trumpet Player’s Ken Colyer and later Pat Halcox.
The 80s saw a collaboration with Dr John with the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, leading to Chris’ appearance at Glastonbury in 2010 as a guest with the Dr John Band. Chris retired in 2019 after 70 years of touring continuously in Britain, Europe and America and passed away in 2021 aged 90
The forthcoming Monmouth Savoy programme features an abundance of Chris Barber classics such as Petite Fleur, Bourbon Street Parade and When The Saints Go Marching In. Plus, a journey through many of the other genres that the band has explored over the years.