RIP Ken Gibson

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NYJO was saddened to hear of the death of former NYJO composer and associate Ken Gibson in July. In his memory, NYJO included Ken’s flugel feature The Perfumed Garden at its recent Spice of Life gig. It’s especially poignant in NYJO’s 50th anniversary year as Ken was a hugely important influence in NYJO’s early days. He contributed many charts and together with Dick Walter and a few others really started to build the NYJO pad and sound.

NYJO trustee Ted Rockley writes: “I got to know Ken around 1965 when I was 13. Ken, then a maths teacher, playing trumpet and bass, ran one of the ‘evening institute bands’ under Bill Ashton’s LYJA umbrella. A few years later Ken had got himself onto the new arranging and composition course with the newly appointed John Dankworth at the Royal Academy of Music. It was during this time that charts started to appear, among them Negev, Hip Hip, With You in Mind, Keep Left for the Gospel Hall, The Threshing Machine, Oh Fabjus Day, Nookering the Umtagartie, Bangers Mash and Peas and The Perfumed Garden, many finding their way onto NYJO recordings or distributed via the MU to rehearsal bands nationwide. Ken also ran KGBB – The Ken Gibson Big Band! Ken went on to succeed Dave Lindup as the Dankworth’s musical associate then onto a career as a music producer with nearly everybody”.

NYJO sends our collective thoughts, best wishes and condolences to his family and friends. If you have any memories or stories about Ken and NYJO we would love to hear them:

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