Acclaimed British jazz pianist Stan Tracey has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 86. The sad news was announced in a post on the official Stan Tracey Appreciation page on Facebook.com on Friday (06Dec13).
The message, posted online by his relative Ben Tracey, reads: "It is with deepest regret that I must announce the death of Stan Tracey... today, at the age of 86. After a struggle with illness, he passed away having recently celebrated his 70 year professional career as a jazz pianist/composer.
"He is survived by a family who love him, and will miss him profoundly. His legacy is the generations of musicians young and old, past and future who have his influential example to look to. Many thanks to all those who have shown him such love and support over these many years."
Tracey, who has been hailed as the godfather of British jazz, started his career as an accordion player during World War II.
He then switched to the piano and performed with the Ted Heath band and served as the house pianist at London's iconic Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club for six years from 1959.
The musician received several awards throughout his career, including a lifetime achievement accolade at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2002 and the first Ivor Novello award for jazz in 2012.
He was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1986 and was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2008.
Paying tribute to Tracey on Twitter.com, jazz star Jamie Cullum writes, "He played like a demon right up until his last days on earth as an Eightysomething (sic)."
Jazz star Jamie Cullum has come under fire from animal rights activists after he played a show at the home of a controversial circus. The British musician played to a sold-out crowd last month (Nov13) at the main venue of Circus Krone, one of Europe's largest circuses, which still includes 'performances' from an array of exotic animals, including big cats, elephants and monkeys.
The gig has angered officials at animal charities, who claim Cullum should have researched the venue's history before booking his concert.
Peter Hoffken, from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), says, "We would wish that the celebrities or agents would inform themselves before they book this venue. We hope that at some point Circus Krone will stop exhibiting animals and just concentrate on renting out its premises for singers."
Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International (ADI), adds, "The welfare needs of tigers, lions and other wild animals can never be met in circuses where these majestic animals are confined. We are very concerned that celebrities including Jamie Cullum are apparently condoning such cruelty by performing at animal circus venues."
A representative for the singer has defended him by insisting no animals performed during his show, telling Britain's The Independent, "He was not aware that the venue was used for live animal performances during the summer months. I can confirm that no animals featured in his performance and that he does not condone the use of live animals as a form of entertainment."
Animal performances in circuses will be banned in Cullum's native Britain from 2015.
British pop stars Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Rita Ora led a high-profile line-up at a memorial concert for a murdered teenager on Sunday night (29Sep13). The big-name cast, which also featured British musicians Jamie Cullum, Tinie Tempah, Rizzle Kicks, Labrinth and Plan B, gathered to perform at London's O2 Arena in memory of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was stabbed to death in a racially motivated attack in 1993.
The concert marked 20 years since the 18 year old's slaying, and proceeds from the event will go to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up following the murder to aid underprivileged young people.
After her performance, Jessie J told British newspaper the Daily Star, "I want people to walk away thinking: 'What can I do to make the world a better place to live in?'"
Emeli Sandi took to Twitter.com to write, "I feel so blessed to play a part in todays (sic) concert in memory of Stephen Lawrence. Let the music strike & inspire unity and justice."
Two men, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were convicted of Lawrence's murder last year (12) after the initial investigation into five suspects collapsed amid allegations of racism within London's Metropolitan Police.
Rizzle Kicks made their new album a family affair by inviting Jordan Stephens' parents to sing on the record. The British hip-hop duo's new album Roaring 20s features collaborations with stars including Jamie Cullum, Fatboy Slim and The Wire actor Dominic West, who recorded a rap for the pair.
However, Stephens was most impressed with a guest appearance from his family members, including his mother, father and cousin, who all sing on the album.
He tells Britain's Capital FM, "On the album... My mum sings a chorus, my dad sings a chorus, my cousin sings a little bit. It actually sounds dope (good)."
The star goes onto reveal the multiple collaborations were inspired by two big-name acts, adding, "There's some different voices. Jamie Cullum - so that's interesting. There's the Dominic West thing... It's not 'featuring this and that'. We're big fans of Gorillaz and Kanye West and the whole thing, which doesn't happen so much in Britain."
Jazz singer Jamie Cullum is backing a campaign to save the venue where he played his first ever gig after bosses proposed plans to transform it into a restaurant. The Bull's Head in Barnes, London has been a popular haunt for jazz players and fans since 1959. Cullum played his first show there when he was 19 and he has been left devastated after discovering brewery bosses who have purchased the property are planning to relaunch it as a posh eaterie.
Taking to Twitter.com, the Brit has urged his followers to sign an online petition in a bid to save the music space, writing, "My very first gig London was at The Bull's Head in Barnes when I was 19 with a band called the Alex Jackson Quartet.
"I've since played there many times and seen many of my heroes there including the great Stan Tracey. It has been providing that service since 1959 and is a national institution. The new owners Youngs (brewery) want to turn it into a gastro pub (a bar selling food). You can help to stop this from happening and help save a great music venue by signing this petition."
British singer Jamie Cullum is fulfilling an ambition by launching his own magazine. The star has revealed he is creating his own publication, which he hopes to release in the next few months, and he is urging fans to get involved by sending in short stories they want to see in print.
In a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, Cullum writes, "I am making a magazine. It's been a dream of mine to put together a unique publication full of writing and things that I love... I am working with some talented old friends to put this together. We should have it ready by the end of the summer. It's very exciting. I want to have one of your short stories in the magazine!"
Cullum asks fans to base their work around the title of his latest album, Momentum, and the stories must be submitted by 7 July (13).
Emeli Sande, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran are among the stars who have signed up to headline a special concert in memory of a British teenager who was murdered in a racist attack in the 1990s. Jamie Cullum, Tinie Tempah, Rizzle Kicks, Labrinth and Plan B have also agreed to perform at the event, titled Unity - A Concert For Stephen Lawrence, at London's O2 Arena.
The gig will raise funds for The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was set up to help underprivileged youngsters following the 18 year old's death in 1993.
A statement from organisers reads, "This event sees U.K. artists and the music industry working together to create a one-off concert and raise awareness and money for the Stephen Lawrence Trust, further providing opportunities for those disadvantaged by their colour, their postcode, their ethnicity or their poverty - across the U.K. All the artists will perform tracks specially chosen for their social message."
Lawrence was stabbed to death on a London street while waiting for a bus, and his murder became one of the U.K.'s most infamous racial killings. Two of the perpetrators were convicted of the killing in 2012, nearly 20 years after the teenager's death.
Jazz star Jamie Cullum treated commuters to a show-stopping performance at one of London's busiest railway stations on Tuesday (21May13). The Brit took advantage of the free piano at St Pancras International to play a short set with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in front of hordes of travellers.
Cullum played new track Momentum from his latest album, and admitted he had always wanted to have a go on the station's piano.
He says, "I'm in and out of St Pancras a lot. There is a piano in the station and I've seen a lot of busking here. I've always walked past it and thought, 'I fancy playing on that'.
"I thrive on the live performance, the spontaneous vibe. This kind of thing suits me well. We hadn't rehearsed with the orchestra at all - but they are a crack team of musicians. We hope we sent travellers on with a song in their hearts."
British jazz star Jamie Cullum was once mistaken for Bruno Mars at an airport check-in desk - so he fooled the hapless fan by singing his huge hit Grenade. Cullum was left stunned when a man confused him with the Hawaiian superstar while waiting for a flight, but was too polite to reveal his real identity.
And the star ensured the fan had a memorable meeting with 'Mars' by bursting into one of his tracks.
Cullum tells Britain's The Sun, "Some guy at the airport came up to me and went, 'Hey, Bruno!' I was bit taken aback so I just went along with it and started singing Grenade.
"He was none the wiser, although he probably thought I was acting like an idiot."
British singer Jamie Cullum is set to hit new heights at an upcoming gig - he is planning to perform on the roof of a London building for charity. The jazz star will head to the top of the headquarters of the Shelter organisation, which helps the homeless, for a show on Tuesday (21May13).
Fans can watch the concert online and make song requests via Twitter.com, and the company's chief executive Campbell Robb says, "We're so excited Jamie is coming to Shelter. This is the first time we've ever had someone perform live at our offices, let alone on our roof... It's great to have Jamie's support."