Most recent update: 25 August 2014 

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Photo credited to DAYLE/WAVELENGTH
British jazz trombonist Chris Barber celebrates his 64th year as a bandleader in 2013. Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Chris formed his first Barber New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of nineteen. In 1953, along with Monty Sunshine and Lonnie Donegan, he joined forces with Ken Colyer. Then, with the replacement of Colyer by Pat Halcox, Ken Colyer's Jazzmen became Chris Barber's Jazz Band in 1954 and has been one of Europe's most successful traditional jazz bands ever since.

Over the years, Chris Barber's Jazz Band evolved into the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, a richly-textured eight-piece group, blending brass, reeds, and electric guitar into a unique and unmistakable mix of blues and jazz. And despite being 'on the slide' since 1949, having performed over 10,000 concerts and made thousands of recordings, the Chris Barber Band keeps marching on, right into the 21st century. At the end of 2001 Chris extended his band with three more musicians into The BIG Chris Barber Band.

     The Current Line-Up of the Big Chris Barber Band (Sept. 2012)
For biographies of each of the band members, plus photos and music clips, go to the Big Chris Barber Band page.
Current Personel (September 2012)
Top row, left to right: Chris Barber, Bob Hunt, Mike Henry, Peter Rudeforth, Richard Exall
Bottom row, left to right: Ami Roberts, Bert Brandsma, Joe Farler, Jackie Flavelle, Gregor Beck
Sandy Letham sent us these 2 great photos from the 2013 concert at Ronnie Scott's Club in London
The Big Chris Barber Band in April 2013 (Nieder-Olm / Germany)
Richard Exall (clarinet and baritone & alto saxes), Amy Roberts (clarinet and alto & tenor saxes, flūte),
Jackie Flavelle (bass & bass guitar), Bert Brandsma (clarinet & tenor sax), Peter Rudeforth (trumpet),
Gregor Beck (drums), Mike Henry (trumpet & cornet), Bob Hunt (trombone & trumpet), , Chris Barber
Joe Farler (banjo & guitar)
(photo/copyright: Klaus Muempfer)
Updated March 21, 2014
Go to the New and Recent Releases page for more details and other recent releases.
Jazz me Blues - The 70s
A new CD covering a part of the period from 1972 to 1979

Althoug this CD has the same title as the auto-biography, it is not a completion of the book, but a very special CD that reflects much of the work of Chris Barber as described in his book!

See our full review here...
3 new double CD's from Lake Records, covering the period of 1959 - 1962

Lake Records have just (re-)issued 3 double CD's - they replace the LACD's 185, 194, 210 and 219 - but they contain in addittion to the replaced CD's some very interesting and previousely not issued material, eg. 3 addittional tunes from the Berlin 1959 concert and recordings that have not yet been released on CD.

For further information please click on the CD covers below.
New DVD: Das Beste aus dem Musikladen
35 Top Bands plus a Chris Barber Special

The German TV station ARD (Das Erste) has had a regular and a very popular TV show called "Musikladen" in the seventies. It was a kind of "Top of the Pops" and featuread all the Pop Stars at that time.

Read more here and check the fantastic Chris Barber Special with 9 great tunes!
Goin' to Town in Carlisle '94

This is # 3 in the new series "Diamond Jubilee Collection" of Lake Records and it contains almost the complete concert of the 1954 Reunion Band and the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band of 1994 in Carlisle (June 4, The Sands Centre)

See our full review here...
Chris Barber at the London Palladium

Peter Brennecke from Germany informed us about another reissue of a classic concert CD of the Chris Barber Jazz Band: The famous London Palladium Concert of March 31, 1961, featuring Joe Harriot, altosax. 

We have quite a few information about this concert and earlier releases on LP or CD. Read more here...
The 208 Rhythm Club  -   Volume 1

Chris Barber's Jazz Band
Ken Colyer's Jazzmen
The Mike Cotton Jazzmen

We got several mails from fans, reporting that the Vocalion Label has issued a series of CD's with British Bands from the sixties.
Indeed, we found a great CD, featuring the three above mentioned Jazz Bands in 1961. These sessions were recorded for the radio broadcast purposes and, as such, not issued commercially. Vocalion presents all these titles on CD for the first time, remastered from the original tapes.
See the full review here
Chris Barber & the Clarinet Kings

This is the second in a new series of CDs from Lake Records, “The Diamond Jubilee Collection”, featuring the 1962 band with Edmond Hall and the 1968 band with Albert Nicholas, together with four studio tracks with Joe Darensbourg. CD-1 begins with Chris Barber’s American Jazz Band, recorded in New York in 1960. These tracks run the gamut from driving swing (Down Home Rag) to a soft and beautiful blues, especially notable for Chris’s solo (Tishomingo Blues.) The rest of CD-1 contains eight Hall studio recordings plus two concert recordings. Wonderful stuff! CD-2 begins with two more Hall concert tracks, followed by seven with Albert Nicholas, while the Joe Darensbourg tracks make up the final four. Every one of the Nicholas tracks is outstanding: traditional jazz blues at its very best by anyone, anywhere. The Darensbourg tracks are different in that they include only Chris Barber and Pat Halcox from the Barber Band, together with several well-known English musicians. All are relaxed and enjoyable. See the full review here
Clearing the Air in Bern '92

This is a new double-CD from a concert recorded at the Kursaal Bern / Switzerland, on 14 February 1992. Niklaus Zust, the recording engineer, refers to the quite amusing title as follows: "The concert from beginning to end was so overpowering that dusty spiders-webs fell from the roof and vanished: music which cleared the dust in every way!"

This double CD, issued by Lake Records LACD312, is the beginning of a series entitled "The Diamond Jubilee Collection" and will comprise several CD's from various points in the band's history with no particular chronology or theme and will supplement CD's already in the Lake records catalogue.

See our short review of this double CD here

European Tour 2011: New Faces

This new CD covers almost a complete concert of the present Big Chris Barber Band. However, not all the recordings are from a single concert: all the recordings were made in January and February 2011 in England, Scotland and Germany. Rebecca Evans, the band's sound engineer, mixed and put together the best ones from several concerts for the CD, supported by the band's banjo player Joe Farler, known as a technical wizard. The sound quality of the live recordings is great.

The CD features the new faces among the band: David Horniblow, clarinet & saxes, since March 2010; Jackie Flavelle, bass/bass guitar, who joined the band in August 2010, but was formerly on tour with Chris Barber from 1967 to 1977; Amy Roberts, saxophone and clarinet - the outstanding young talent joined the forces of the Big Chris Barber Band in January 2011; and Gregor Beck, drums, started in April 2010 with the band. See our review of this CD here.

You can now follow Chris Barber and the Big Chris Barber Band
on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Chris Barber on Facebook Chris Barber on Twitter Chris Barber on YouTube

The list below covers the last nine months.
For a complete list of updates to the website since February 2004,
go to the News and Website Updates page.

August 25, 2014 - The Big Chris Barber Band on BBC Radio 3 / live recording from the Brecon Jazz Festival 2014 (10 Aug. 2014)
BBC Radio 3 featured 1 first set of the Big Chris Barber Band concert at the Brecon Jazz Festival. There are 5 days left to listen again to that programme. Music starts at 58 min. And this is the link:
August 21, 2014  -  Tour dates (Germany)
Thanks to Bert Brandsma I discovered a very informative website quoting all GERMAN Chris Barber Tour dates from October 2014 till January 2015:

August 10, 2014
As previousely announced, Chris Barber has received the Lifetime Award of the German Jazz Trophy 2014. The ceremony was held in Stuttgart on July 21st, 2014.

July 30 / May 31, 2014
We just got the information by Gerard Bielderman that the former bass player of the Chris Barber Jazz Band, Dick Smith, passed away on May 31, 2014. This info was obviousely published in the "Just Jazz" - Magazine. Dick was a member of Chris Barbers Band from April 1956 till March 1966. Please check our information about Dick Smith on the "former members" page.
RIP Dick Smith
June 23, 2014  -  Information by the Chris Barber Management
Today we have received the following message from the Chris Barber Management in Holland:

Chris has recently injured his ankle and successfully undergone surgery. He is feeling well and has already started his recovery. Chris is very much looking forward to perform for his fans again. As of now, all scheduled performances with the band are going ahead as planned.
Ria and Wim Wigt

We all wish Chris a quick and safe recovery / Andreas Wandfluh, Co-Webmaster
June 8, 2014
The Autobiography of Chris Barber "Jazz Me Blues", written by Chris Barber with Alyn Shipton, was released in February 2014. Until now we have not yet seen or received a full review of he autobiography in English, but we have received these days a great summary by the German Jazz Musician Lutz Eikelmann. Read more here
May 5, 2014
Peter Brennecke from Germany is a good friend and a follower for years of the Barber Bands. And he gives a great and thankful support to the website and archive team. Recently he sent us very interesting information about releases of rare recordings. Check it here
April 17, 2014
Happy Birthday Chris, and many happy returns! Keep on swingig that wonderful music!
April 8, 2014
We have announced the new CD "Jazz Me Blues" at the end of March 2014. Niklaus Zust informed us that this CD was presented on BBC Jazz Club on April 6, 2014. You still have the possibility to listen to that programne.

March 23, 2014

  • Lake Records have released a new double CD entitled "Jazz Me Blues - the 70s. Read our review here.
  • Andreas Wandfluh has written a short review about Chris Barber's Autobiography
March 16, 2014 - Why do we promote this CD?
Normally, we do publish new CD's related to Chris Barber and his bands and, of course, Chris guesting with other bands. But in some cases we have to do an exception. This exception is the new CD of the Magnificiant 7 Jazz Band, a band consisting of musicians of the bands of Chris Barber, Kenny Ball and Mr. Acker Bilk. Read and listen more here.
March 11, 2014 - Lifetime Award for Chris Barber - Chris Barber will be awarded the German Jazz Trophy 2014
The German Jazz Trophy 2014 will be awarded to Chris Barber on July 21, 2014 in Stuttgart / Germany at the "jazzopen" festival.
Congratulations to Chris for this fantastic award. Former award winners are Lee Konitz, Monty Alexander, Dick Hayman and Jacques Loussier, Dave Holland and many other celebrities. Read more
March 8, 2014 - Tours and concert schedule
We have again installed a link to the Chris Barber's Management website with the official tour and concert schedule. Please note that the weekdays are written in dutch language!

February 17, 2014

  • Chris Barber is celebrating in 2014:  65 years as bandleader and 60 years professional Chris Barber Bands
    2014 is a special year for Chris Barber! Chris is celebrating its 65 year bandleader and 60 years professional career with the Chris Barber Bands. You will find the story of Chris Barber and his bands elswhere on this website. It's a fantastic success to be such a long time on top of European Jazz music and we are sure that many followers of the band have great memories of Chris' music. We encourage you all to share theses memories with Chris and the fans all over the world: please send us photos, leaflets etc. from your archives, or write a short piece about these memories. We then will publish your memories here on this page.
    Read the first entries here
  • At long last:   Jazz Me Blues The Autobiography of Chris Barber
    read more
February 15, 2014  -  Tours and concert schedule
The concert schedule on this page is a link to Chris Barber's Management website in the Netherlands, Wim Wigt Productions. Their website is actually - due to revisions - not accessible. We have arranged with Wim Wigt Productions to publish here a PDF file showing the forthcoming concerts.  
February 3, 2014
Hans from the Netherlands informed us these days that he has uploaded on you tube a documentary film about Chris Barber. Despite the fact that the film is in German with French subtitles, we are sure that you will like and understand the information given in this film and - of course, that you will enjoy the music.
This is the link:
January 28, 2014
Sandy Letham sent us 2 great photos from the Ronnie Scott's Concert in 2013. According to his information there are many more to come!
January 1, 2014 - Happy New Year
This website is now in its 11th year! Starting January 1, 2004 with the contents of the (private) websites of Ed Jackson and Andreas Wandfluh and with the fantastic help of the bands archivist, the late Julian Purser, this website has been developped into one of the largest musician website worldwide. Many Chris Barber fans all over the world supported us (and still do) with pictures, leaflets, posters, newspaper articles etc. etc. and helped us in our work. Our  thanks and best wishes go to all these supporting people and to all readers and followers of this site. We like to be in contact with Jazz fans worldwide and to keep you informed about the music of Chris Barber and his bands. Despite the fact that this website is the official Chris Barber Website, it is still a private project of Ed Jackson (Canada) and Andreas Wandfluh (Switzerland) and we do all our work in our free time.

Actually we have to solve some issues with the photo pages, incl. the Pat Halcox Photo Archive, but we hope to activate those pages - may be partailly - in the first quarter of 2014. Thank you very much for your comprehension.     
December 1, 2013   -  additions to the Pat Halcox Photo Archive
We have rearranged the Pat Halcox Photoarchive pages: the picture description is now below the respective picture and no longer in the yellow colour within the picture. Furthermore, we have added more than a dozen of new pictures. There are many more to come - but in many cases we have to scan and reproduce them from tiny filmstripes... and this may take a lot of time to do that.
Check the revised Pat Halcox Photo Archive here
November 13, 2013  -  The Chris Barber 2013 6 piece band plus blues guitar player Helge Lorenz!
After the sudden death of John Slaughter in 2010, Chris Barber has not yet added a new blues guitar player to his band. However, on some very rare occasions the outstanding German blues guitarist Helge Lorenz played a few tunes and added so the very long missed "original" sound to the Barber Band. "Goin'Home" from Hamburg (Oct. 27, 2013) is available on youtube. This version contains a great solo by Helge Lorenz.
We normally do not refer to youtube, but as we know that many followers of the band would like to listen to the blues sound of Helge, we make an exception. The video can be found here:
October 27, 2013
Unfortunately, the link to the SWR Mediathek below is no longer working.
Obviousely, there is a part of that concert available on youtube. Search for "Ice Cream Lahnstein"
October 27, 2013
The complete German TV show of Oct. 20th, 2013 is now available at SWR Mediathek.
This is the direct link:
The Big Chris Barber Band play the first 3 tracks:
- All Blues
- Goin' Home
- Ice Cream
Enjoy it!
October 12, 2013   
Chris Barber on TV: Sunday, Oct. 20, 0900h - 1030h - SWR / Faszination Musik: Das Beste vom 33. Lahnsteiner Bluesfestival 2013

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the German TV station Südwestfunk (SWR) has announced a TV report covering the Lahnstein Bluesfestival 2013. At this festival, Chris Barber received the Festival Award "Blues Louis" and the Big Chris Barber Band will be featured among other bands.
If you can't receive SWR, check the possibility of "watching again" (in German "Sendung verpasst?") on the SWR website or try your favourite Web-TV browser and search for SWR, Faszination Musik.
For our German speaking friends: Hier der direkte Link zur Programminformation
October 6, 2013
We have added another set of Newsletters from the old days. The addition covers the years 1986 till 1989
15 September 2013
Here are a set of photos from 2005, taken by Karl-Wilhelm Specht at the occasion of a concert in Yeovil / Somerset.
August 26, 2013
Not only for historians: We have added the newsletters for the years 1980 - 1985 to this website. Follow the history of the Chris Barber Band, based on date sheets and other information, provided at that time by Vic Gibbons.
August 8, 2013
Paul Adams of Lake Records informed us these days that 3 double CD's with material from 1959 - 1962 are now available! You will find more information here.
July 25, 2013
We have added another set of Newsletters from the old days. The addition covers the years 1978 and 1979.
July 2, 2013
We have added the 1977 Newsletters to the archive pages of this website. It's not only interesting to check the tour dates of that time, but also to follow the information about musicians, venues etc.
June 18, 2013
We have added a short video trailer from the DVD "Musikladen" - check it here
June 16, 2013
From about 1974 till the early 2000 Mr. Vic Gibbons published a regular Newsletter, covering tours, records etc. of the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band. Starting in June 2013, we will publish in the archive section these newsletters, giving us a deep insight of the activites of that time.
Click here to read the newsletters.
June 2, 2013
Karl-Wilhelm Specht from Germany sent us another set of photos from the Jazz & Blues Band period. This time the pictures are from a concert in Stone in March 1993. Enjoy these pictures from the "pre-digital-era". 
May 31, 1954  -  May 31, 2013
59 years ago...

This was the day when the Chris Barber Jazz Band was formed... and Chris is still going strong. Congratulations to Chris for such a great time with fantastic music
May 24, 2013 - TV Programme
For all those who have missed this great Jazz evening on BBC 4
- 50s Britannia, Trad Jazz Britannia  (with a lot of Chris Barber Music and Interview)
- Jazz625 with a concert with Acker Bilk's Paramount Jazz Band plus Beryl Bryden and George Lewis
- Smokey Dives
we would like to point out that 50s Britannia, Trad Jazz Britannia as well as Jazz625) will be repeated in the night from Friday to Saturday (24./25. May 2013). Trad Jazz Britannia will again be repeated on Monday, 27.05.2013 - please check your TV programme for correct times.
May 22, 2013
We normally do not publish concert dates etc. as we have a permanent link to the Chris Barber Tour Management on this site.
However, we got an e-Mail from Todd Allen, pointing out to a special event on May 30, 2013 in Basingstoke. This is Todd's e-mail:

Dear All, SAMMY RIMINGTON is to be reunited with his old boss CHRIS BARBER for a session in Basingstoke on THURSDAY MAY 30th. Wally Fawkes was originally due to be working with Chris on this occasion but now has to have a minor operation. Chris chose Sammy to replace him. In fact it is a get together for Chris with a total of 4 of his sidemen, the others being JOHNNY MCCALLUM (banjo/guitar), VIC PITT(bass) & STICKY WICKETT(drums). The venue is:   THE IRISH CENTRE COUNCIL ROAD BASINGSTOKE RG21 3DH   for more information & booking (tickets £20) please call Anne or Dave Bennett on 0794 204 0779   WELCOME!
May 19, 2013
Not many followers of the Big Chris Barber Band have had the opportunitiy to follow a concert with the lastest members of the band: Amy Roberts and Bert Brandsma. Amy is not only a fantastic reed player, but also very keen on flūte! Actually, she plays the flūte in C-Jam Blues als well as in When the Saints. Her colleague, Bert Brandsma is a fantastic reed musician too and he proves it with a great solo in C-Jam Blues where he plays the bass saxophone. And finally, we have to point out that Peter Rudeforth plays the flugelhorn in C-Jam. Why do we tell this? Bert Brandsma posted a video with C-Jam Blues on youtube and we think you will be very interested in watching this video. Thanks Bert. 
May 13, 2013
Karl-Wilhelm Specht has sent us a lot of photos from the Jazz & Blues Band period. A first set of pictures can be seen on our photo-pages. This set includes pictures from a concert with Ray Nance. 
April 29, 2013
We have added a new band picture to this website - thank you, Bert Brandsma, for providing us this actual photograph
April 28, 2013 - Remembering Pat Halcox
We have now created a new page "Remembering Pat Halcox" with the obituary for Pat and the Book of Condolence. Furthermore we have added a video from John Bennet, that he had recorded at Pat's funeral. All information will be consolidated on the page "A tribute to Pat Halcox
April 8, 2013
These days we have been informed by Ed Jackson, co-organiser and co-webmaster of this website, that due to ill health he is temporarely not in a position to maintain his work at this website. I'm sure you all wish him all the best and we hope for a quick recovery.
In the meantime, I will take full responsability for the development of this website. However, due to business reasons, I'will not step in until the last week of April 2013.
We have got quite a lot of new and interesting material that is waiting for publishing. Especially Karl-Wilhelm Specht from Germany has sent us rare photographs. Furthermore, we received a second lot of pictures for the Pat Halcox Photo Archive. Many thanks to Shirley Halcox for keeping open this fantastic photographical source of the Chris Barber Bands.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Andreas Wandfluh
March 7, 2013
More sad news reached us this morning. Kenny Ball, British trumpeter and bandleader, born May 22, 1930, passed away this morning. Indeed very sad months for European Jazz. RIP Kenny
February 20, 2013
Helge Lorenz sent us a short video clip from the Brass Band, leaving the chapel with "When the saints go marching in"
Please note: large file / allow enough time for the download.   Here are two versions:   WMV-version   MPEG-version
February 17, 2013
We received so many requests from people asking us for information about the Service of Celebration for the Life of Pat Halcox. Most of these people were not in a position to come to England. Therefore we have added a slide show with pictures from the ceremony, held on Feb. 14th at the Easthampstead Park Cemetery & Crematorium (a professional photographer was there and we hope to get these pictures later on).
Please note: large file / > 30 MB / allow enough time for the download.  Here are the files:   WMV-version     MPEG-version  
February 3, 2013
The menu page of the Chris Barber website has been overhauled to reduce clutter, streamline the page, and make your visit more user-friendly. Probably the most significant change is the reduction of the "CD stack" of links within the site from the previous 30 to 15. All of the old links are covered, but in some cases with new "entry pages". If you have any comments about the new "look", please send an e-mail message to us, or you can post on the Message Board.
Ed Jackson & Andreas Wandfluh, co-webmasters
January 19, 2013
Petite Fleur is not only Sidney Bechet's composition or Chris Barber's Jazz Band Hit in 1959 - but also a world champion cocktail! Read more here.
January 18, 2013
The Pat Halcox's Photo Archive has now been completed with all pictures we have got from Pat. However we hope that his is only the first set of pictures and that we will get more photos...
January 12, 2013
We have placed a permanent link to Pat Halcox's Photo Archive in the "CD stack" of links within the site, higher up on this page.
January 10, 2013
Not many Chris Barber Fans know that Pat Halcox was the photographer and photo archivist of the Chris Barber Bands for a long time. He now has opened his fantastic photo archive and we are happy to present the first pictures on this website. Many thanks Pat, for this, and thanks to Mike Henry who forwarded these pictures to us. More pictures are due to come.
January 9, 2013
New DVD of the Seventies! The Chris Barber Band with 9 fantastic tunes live at the Musikladen. See more here...
January 2, 2013
We are happy to announce the release of 2 great CD's:
#1: Chris Barber at the London Palladium - a reissue of the concert recording of 1961
#2: The third CD of the new Lake records series: Diamond Jubilee Collection: Chris Barber Goin' to Town in Carlisle 1994, featuring the Chris Barber 1994 Reunion Band plus the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band on a double CD.
January 1, 2013 - Happy New Year to all and everybody visiting this site
The Webmasters, Ed Jackson and Andreas Wandfluh wish a Happy New Year to all Chris Barber Fans. We have transferred in November and December 2012 the content of this website to a new server, allowing us to concentrate all information, sound files, pictures etc. on one place. During this period we too have prepared quite a lot of interesting items for this website - soon to come here!
Best wishes - Ed Jackson and Andreas Wandfluh / co-webmasters
December 12, 2012
Vocalion announces the release of a new series of CD's of British Jazz Bands. Vol. 1 features the Chris Barber Jazz Band, Ken Colyer's Jazzmen and The Mike Cotton Jazzmen. See our review here.
November 8, 2012
Ferdie Favager, who was a member of Chris Barber's New Orleans Jazz Band in 1950 and 1951, recently passed away. We have posted a page in memory of Ferdie.
November 4, 2012
Long-time contributor to the website Ivan Spring has let us know about a YouTube posting of the British TV programme, "Lonnie Donegan: This Is Your Life". Click on the links to watch Part 1 and Part 2.
October 27, 2012
Hold on to your seats, folks! Bert Brandsma has alerted us (via Facebook) of an electrifying video of the 1965 Chris Barber Band playing "The Saints" in concert in East Berlin.
October 14, 2012
Photos by Peter Rudeforth from a late-2012 European Tour.
October 12, 2012
Photos (by Amy Roberts) from a Recording Session in September 2012. (The permanent link for this page is at the end of the Tours, Concerts & Special Events page.)

Welcome to the Chris Barber Website Message Board.

We hope you will find this a useful and entertaining addition to the site, where you can talk about anything related to Chris, the band, concerts, tours, recordings -- you name it.

The fine print: Since January 1, 2004, has been maintained by Ed Jackson of (Canada), Andreas Wandfluh (Switzerland), and, until his untimely death in 2009, Julian Purser (England). Over the years, many other people from around the world have provided us with otherwise inaccessible material. They are listed on the Credits and Thanks page.

If you have any questions or comments about this website, please click here to send an e-mail message. All enquiries about management, concerts, bookings, etc., should be addressed to Wim Wigt Productions.

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