Thursday, 3 December 2009


Although Dundee trumpeter, John McLevy, was of the older generation, he was still very much active in the 60's, 70's & 80's, a period I'll get back to shortly.
Before that, he first began playing trumpet as a teenager, soon finding work locally, and around other parts of UK. His early work consisted mostly of hotel bands, and mostly in London. He did venture back home to play too, teaming up with the local Joe Gibson Band, then nipping over to Glasgow for some casino work.
London called again though and not before long he was in the line-up of the BBC Show Band lead by Cyril Stapleton. Included in his London years was a lengthy stint at the Savoy Hotel with bandleader, Francisco Cavez. JM also found time to record numerous albums with Max Bygraves...well they do say he did have a good sense of humour!!
The 70's was probably John at his peak, an era that had him play alongside jazz legend, Benny Goodman, and tour all over Europe.
He still continued playing right through the 80's, albeit in smaller bands and smaller venues, but eventually deciding to retire in the 90's.
John McLevy died in 2002.
Here is a link to one of his performances with Benny Goodman, taken from one of the 70's European tours

The track is called "My Dear Mr Shane", a number which, after many decades, Dundee's present top jazz outfit, Havana Swing, play as part of their repertoire!!

1 comment:

  1. I worked with John. Must have been 89 when he was in a trio with Jack Emblow and George Chisholm. I still copy his plunger mute style on "It Don't Mean a Thing".