In Memoriam: John Cumming OBE (1948 – 2020)

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
In Memoriam: John Cumming OBE (1948 – 2020)

It is with great sadness that the NYJO Family marks the passing of John Cumming, who died on Sunday evening at his home.

John transcended the title of ‘Producer’ becoming an unshakable pillar of what was to become the UK jazz scene. It is true to say he wove himself so deeply into the fabric of the movement that there was barely an artist, band, venue, event or festival that was not influenced by his work.

By all accounts John was an important figure to those he worked closely with. Someone who lived to share ideas, drinks, interests and his Scottish-flavoured jokes. He received Awards for Services to Jazz at both the BBC Jazz Awards and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards, and in 2014 was made an OBE for Services to Jazz.

“John was one of the first people from whom I asked for help when I became Chair of NYJO in 2010. He generously gave me the full benefit of his experience and wisdom and continued to guide and advise us throughout the decade. We would never have established our fruitful partnership with Germany’s BuJazzO without his direct help, and I’m eternally grateful to him for that on top of everything else. I have fond memories filled with laughter in his company, particularly a very special dinner with him and Ginnie to celebrate his richly-deserved OBE.”

Nigel Tully MBE, NYJO Executive Chair

As Director at Serious, John was best known as the co-creator of the London Jazz Festival where he used his position to develop, educate and promote many young jazz musicians. He was endlessly on the lookout for the next evolution in jazz and was always excited to support an array of upcoming talent.

Many members of the NYJO team had the pleasure of working alongside John for many years, and what is evident from the collective outpouring this week, is that he was someone they both admired as a colleague and cherished as a friend.

“I’m struggling to find the right words to write about John – every time I settle on a memory from my time working at Serious, I remember another amazing tale, or incredible gig he produced. Professionally I learnt so much from John, but the most important lesson was the art of the ‘hang’.  John was a master. I’m glad I often took John’s advice and had ‘one more drink’ as memories of evenings spent in the company of John, colleagues and musicians will long be treasured. John made a huge mark on the international jazz community and I hope that Ginnie, Kate, and his family find comfort in knowing how much he meant to so many people. He will be missed.”

Claire Furlong, Head of L&P

John supported NYJO in the same way he helped so many other individuals and organisations; by generously giving us his time, experience, critical opinion and, at crucial moments, providing an endorsement that we treasured for its unquestionable integrity.

We wish John’s family all the best in this sad time.

The NYJO Team.

In Memoriam: John Cumming OBE (1948 – 2020)

Additional quotes from the NYJO family can be found on our Instagram page here.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit

Back To Top