Dick Pearce

Dick PearceDick began playing cornet at the age of 12 when in the Boys’ Brigade and joined Ewell village’s local brass band a year later. At 15 he became interested in jazz and attended a Sunday morning rehearsal band run by the dance bandleader Ken Macintosh. In 1967 he joined the trumpet section of NYJO, where he met many like-minded young musicians.

After two years in NYJO Dick joined the Household Cavalry, supposedly as a bandsman – he’d played Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto for his audition and had expected to receive musical tuition after signing on the dotted line. However, for most of his service he found himself sitting on a horse playing bugle calls. Demobbed in April 1972 he began playing with what was considered to be some of the ‘freer’ bands of that time – amongst them were those led by Graham Collier, Dudu Pukwana, Pat Evans and Keith Tippett.

Later in the 70s he was attracted towards more harmonically structured improvisation, and began playing with jazz groups led by the likes of Don Rendell, Michael Garrick and Mike Westbrook, while also playing in an abundance of settings with his own generation of young jazz musicians.

In 1980 Dick joined the Ronnie Scott Quintet, with whom he travelled all over the world for the next 14 years. The band included John Critchinson (pno), Ron Mathewson (bs), Martin Drew (drs) and Ronnie Scott (tenor) – in 1990 this Quintet became a Sextet when Mornington Lockett joined on tenor.

In more recent years Dick, whilst regularly employed with the usual type of commercial activity of a freelance musician, has been heard in jazz settings with Alan Barnes’/Don Weller’s Tribute to Cannonball Adderley Band, the Don Weller Big Band, Tim Richards’ Great Spirit, John Williams’ New Perspectives, Stan and Clark Tracey’s Ellingtonia, the Pete Downes trio and John Critchinson’s Tribute to Ronnie Scott Band.