|Eddie Harvey, 2000. Photo credit: Russ Escritt|
A major and universally liked figure in British jazz, and the founding father of British jazz education, trombonist, pianist, arranger, composer, educator Eddie Harvey, passed away peacefully yesterday, Tuesday October 9th, just a few weeks before his 87th birthday.
In the words of Scott Stroman writing in 2010: “What is remarkable about Eddie is that having produced music at the highest level nationally and internationally, he has chosen to go into the classroom. And he can teach at any level. He is happy to make his material fit the needs of anyone, from beginners to postgraduate conservatoire students.”
A biography of Eddie is here. He played, wrote and arranged for John Dankworth’s bands, played in the bands of Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson, and wrote music for the Benny Goodman Orchestra.
He was the first ever recipient of a Parliamentary Award for Jazz Education. He continued to teach well into his 80’s at Richmond Jazz School, and at London College of Music / Thames Valley University (now University of West London) where he was given a Lifetime Award in March 2010. He would have been awarded an Honorary Professorship there – if he hadn’t still been teaching. Deepest sympathies to Peggy, Abigail and Chloe. RIP.
UPDATE: The funeral is at Mortlake Crematorium at 1.20pm on Friday 26th October. Family flowers only. Donations either to Musicians Benevolent Fund OR Princess Alice Hospice. Cheques for donations can be sent to the funeral directors: Andrew Holmes and Son, 378 Richmond Road, East Twickenham TW1 2DX
The Daily Telegraph has an obituary (Dave Gelly). And the Guardian (Peter Vacher) . And the Times (Alyn Shipton) – and the Independent (Steve Voce)
INTERVIEW WITH EDDIE HARVEY FROM 2011
These three podcasts are a shortened/ edited version of “Head to Head” an interview which Eddie Harvy did with jazz musician and award-winning writer Dave Gelly on 19th May 2011 at Richmond Adult Community College. With assistance from Geoff Varrall and Janet Croney of RACC.
Geoff Varrall Writes:
On 19th May 2011, the 84 year old Eddie Harvy had done a day’s teaching, cycled back for a sound check, gone home, driven back in his slightly battered Saab, driven into another car (no one hurt including the Saab), had several pints of beer with Dave Gelly. But as expected, he was able to make everyone in the audience laugh all evening.
Part 1: Early Life. The beginnings of Eddie Harveys interest in jazz. This first part features music from Jack Teagarden, (one of Eddie’s earliest influences) Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and more.
Part 2: Post-War. India / the first time he heard Dizzy Gillespie (“I thought the world had come to an end”) / Carlisle/ The Dankworth Seven /Charlie Parker and Miles Davis as influences.
Part 3: Composer/Arranger/Educator. The ban on American musicians in the UK/ individuality in jazz education.