I remember, many years ago, reading in the PAW, that a member of the Class of 1932 arranged to have a Dixieland Jazz Band play at his funeral. What a great idea! So last year we presented a concert here at our website in memory of lost classmates. Herewith we do so again, with our 2nd annual memorial concert:

1953 Memorial Traditional Jazz Concert


Listening suggestions

Use decent quality earphones, or connect to your audio system with a stereo cable with a 1/8” plug from your earphones jack.

Click on the link to the chosen song. When it ends, close the Youtube page with that song, otherwise Youtube will choose a next song for you! When you close the Youtube window you should be taken back to this email message where you can choose another song. Repeat this process.



Comment from one of the Youtube  Barber band reviewers: “I’ve seen Chris Barber and his band twice at 2 different locations and quite honestly they were both the best nights I’ve had in my life


Welcome to the second annual Kendal Traditional Jazz Concert. Tonight, we will feature the Chris Barber band of the UK and Europe. The Chris Barber Band has been the most successful and popular of the European jazz bands for more than sixty-five years.


Chris Barber was born on April 17, 1930 and turned 87 this past Monday.  He started his own amateur jazz band in 1949 at the age of 19.  In1953 he teamed up with trumpeter Ken Colyer and clarinet player Monty Sunshine to form the Ken Colyer jazz band.  Colyer had played in New Orleans for years and believed strongly in the traditional New Orleans style – with which I agree. In1954 Colyer and Barber disagreed on style. They separated and Barber formed The Chris Barber Jazz Band. Pat Halcox returned to play trumpet and cornet.


Barber has been leading jazz bands from1949 to 2017. Sixty-eight years!


The band’s first concert on the continent was in Copenhagen in 1954. Since then there have been thousands of concerts including every country of Europe and beyond, for more than sixty years.When I lived in England in the sixties, Barber’s band was voted Britain’s favorite traditional jazz band.


We begin our concert tonight with Barber’s most requested tune, an all-time Dixieland favorite that was played regularly in New Orleans by George Lewis and his band and by virtually all jazz bands everywhere. In 1985 (perhaps he was exaggerating) Barber said that it was the 4,832nd time he had played this number.


You may find the vocal portion to be somewhat odd, but many will recognize the singing style of the great Louis Armstrong in the way the Barber Band members sing this number.


I have chosen this number to start off in part because some of you might have been late for dinner and skipped dessert in order to get here on time. So here we go:


Ice Cream!   (“Ice Cream You scream we all scream for ice cream”.)  recorded in the Netherlands in 1997:



By the way, the last time I sang this song I sang it for the Prince of Wales,,,,,…yeah…….there was this fellow sitting at the end of the bar. When we finished playing the number, he hollered “If you’re a singer, I’m the Prince of Wales!”


1.  Ice CreamSesjun,  Netherlands, 19975:10

Chris Barber: trombone, vocals
John Crocker: clarinet
Pat Halcox: trumpet, vocals
Vic Pitt: upright bass
Paul Sealey: guitar, banjo
John Slaughter: guitar
Alan ‘Stickey’ Wickett: drums
Ian Wheeler: clarinet, saxophone, harmonica


2.  JambalayaStockholm, 1986     – 4:02

This is a recording from his mid period of a concert in Stockholm Sweden in 1986. 
In its 31st year of having worked up to be the most successful jazz band in Europe. Barber played some 240 concerts a year.

Jambalaya – Barber Chris 1986: The band plays Jambalaya with a New Orleans style feel. Here you can hear that the Barber Band always was influenced by the Wilber deParis Band 
Chris Barber trombone, Pat Halcox trumpet, Ian Wheeler clarinet and saxes, John Crocker clarinet and saxes, Johnny McCallum banjo and guitar, Roger Hill guitar, Vic Pitt bass and Norman Emberson drums. Chris Barber started his jazz band in 1954 with trumpeter Pat Halcox on his side since the beginning. 

3.  Isle of Capri1994 like several other numbers yet ahead – 3:50

This currently is one of my most favorite Barber numbers:

The Isle of Capri” with Chris on trombone, Pat Halcox on trumpet, Monty Sunshine on clarinet, Jim Bray on bass, Johnny McCallum on banjo and Colin Bowden on drums.


4.  A Closer Walk With Thee – Sesjun, Netherlands – 1997 – 6:06

Chris Barber: trombone, vocals
John Crocker: clarinet
Pat Halcox: trumpet, vocals
Vic Pitt: upright bass
Paul Sealey: guitar, banjo
John Slaughter: guitar
Alan ‘Stickey’ Wickett: drums
Ian Wheeler: clarinet, saxophone, harmonica




5.  It’s Tight Like That – London Palladium – 2000 –             6:19

celebrating Barber’s 70th birthday and his 40th year as a bandleader. No live video but a selection of illustrations. Great steady rhythm!



6. When You Wore a Tulip –  Recorded in Tokyo – probably 1980s



7. Bourbon Street Parade – 1984



8 & 9. Ice Cream & Down by the Riverside – 1970s – 7:15

Probably 1970s. Note the hair styles!

The Final Four songs

In 1994 Chris Barber and his Jazz Band celebrated their 40th anniversary and played a series of somewhere between 75 and 100 jubilee concerts all around Europe. Not only would Chris perform with his most recent personnel, he would also make part of the show a feature with members of his 1954 band. In this number and the following 1994 numbers, Barber brings back the early band with Monty Sunshine on clarinet.


10.  Hiawatha Rag – 1994 – (same concert as Isle of  Capri)        3:53

  This is a version of King Oliver’s band’s tune from the 1920s:



11.  Bobby Shaftoe – 1994– a song he popularized in the ‘50s     3:46



12.  Chimes Blues – 1994 on the Continent – 5:14

“Chimes Blues”. Instead of the Chimes being done by piano as in the original recording Chris performed this with the three frontline horns..



13.  That’s A Plenty – 1994 –   our final number             5:21

This song features Colin Bowden on drums, considered Europe’s finest jazz drummer/percussionist. Colin is featured on more than ½ the song.

Colin Bowden – Drums
Bowden was born in Hampstead Heath, London in 1932 and lives in Suffolk. He remembers at the age of ten seeing through a village hall window a drummer performing live and feeling that he had discovered Eldorado! Some years later, after conscription service with the RAF he renovated an old drum kit which he had bought from a workmate who was cleaning out an attic. It was late 1952. Colin was collecting Spike Jones records until he heard “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble?” and that 78rpm disc by Jelly Roll Morton put him firmly on the jazz trail. Over the years main influences have been Baby Dodds, Big Sid Catlett and Art Blakey along with all the others. He is generally regarded as the finest New Orleans drummer in Europe.
Colin was invited to be part of the 40th Anniversary tour of Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. Colin played in this band’s concert as it was some 40 years before. Although I believe that Colin then wasn’t a member of the band he certainly must have played with them as a substitute. In the sixties and seventies Colin was the permanent drummer of Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen.
We see Colin being featured on drums in that particularly interesting Baby Dodds styled approach in the tune “That’s a Plenty”

Extra Songs


Ice Cream 1985


Tiger Rag – 1996 – Mulheim, Germany – 8:53


 All the Girls Go Crazy – early – no video  3:09


The Old Rugged Cross – 1990, Monty Sunshine solo


comment from a fan:
“In 1953 Ken Colyer and his Jazzmen recorded several tunes which came out on a 10″ LP called “From London to New Orleans”. As a 16 year old and a beginning jazz cornet player I was able to get this LP. with Ken Colyer tpt, Monty Sunshine clt and Chris Barber trombone.
For many of us this was a new style of New Orleans jazz that set a sample and became a standard of how our beloved jazz should be played. Both Ken and Chris’s bands had a big influence on my jazz development. Only some 6-8 years later I became familiar with the Eddie Condon Style which gave me an opportunity to look at traditional with a somewhat different view. Once I immigrated to Canada and eventually landed in the Climax Jazz Band comprised mainly of Brits I got back in the British traditional jazz stream.
Then, I was playing at the 1994 Sacramento Festival and I met drummer Colin Bowden. He told me that he was part of the Chris Barber’s 40th Jubilee concert tour, a tour of close to 100 concert hall concerts throughout Europe where Chris would not only feature his much more modern Jazz and Blues Band but also play with his original band, with as many of the original members available.
Shortly after I found this German concert film of one of these performances. You’ll see and hear the Chris Barber Band playing “The Isle of Capri” with Chris on trombone, Pat Halcox on trumpet, Monty Sunshine on clarinet, Jim Bray on bass, Johnny McCallum on banjo and Colin Bowden on drums. Nostalgia for them, but certainly for me as well.
Some of you were there at that time in the fifties and sixties, and I think it was a darn good time!…