Legendary Birmingham tenor saxophonist Andy Hamilton MBE has died at the age of 94.
Born in Jamaica, Hamilton worked there and in the States (where his gigs included a spell as musical director on Errol Flynn’s yacht) before moving to the UK in 1949.
He then established himself as one of the leading figures on the Birmingham scene, both as a player and as an organiser. Wider recognition was late coming to him. His first album, “Silverlight” was not released until 1990 when he was already 72, but promptly became the best-selling UK jazz album of the year.
Andy Hamilton played at Glasgow Jazz Festival a few years ago in an all-star band mainly made up of the older generation of Black UK players, which also included Harry Beckett and Coleridge Goode. He was still an impressive player at the age of 89.
For a fuller biography, go to the website of Bearwood Jazz, where his band The Bluenotes had a residency.
Here he is with his son Graeme on trumpet, and visiting American tenor players Hal Singer and David Murray, who has described Hamilton as one of his musical heroes: