Andy Hamilton MBE: A Celebration Of His Life

A celebration of the life and work of the legendary Jamaican-British jazz musician and community figurehead Andy Hamilton is to take place at Symphony Hall on Tuesday 26 June at 2.30pm.

The afternoon event, featuring a number of performances and tributes from musicians and friends including the Notebenders Big Band, the Blue Notes, David Murray, Jean Toussaint, Gary Crosby, Nana Tsiboe, Helen McDonald and Winston Clifford, will be compered by Prof Carl Chinn. Further guests are to be announced.

Admission is free to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis (subject to availability). Doors open at 1.45pm.

A display of photos by Smethwick-based photographer Russ Escritt will also be on show in Symphony Hall throughout Tuesday 26 June. From the early 1990s, Russ documented Andy Hamilton’s gigs with the Blue Notes and guests at his various residencies in Bearwood, and the photos originally appeared in the Symphony Hall exhibition Andy Hamilton is 90 in 2008.

There will be an informal opportunity to pay tribute to Andy after the event, and a collection will be held for several organisations that he was closely involved with.

Event page

Andy Hamilton, often described as the ‘grand elder statesman of the Birmingham Jazz scene’, passed away on Sunday 3 June 2012 aged 94.

After moving to Britain from Jamaica in 1949, the popular musician and bandleader went on to become one of the most familiar faces across the Birmingham music scene for more than sixty years, starting up many new venues. Andy and his band The Blue Notes enjoyed over twenty-five years of residencies at venues in Bearwood, to which he invited many of the world’s great jazz musicians.

Andy’s remarkable commitment to making music with individuals and community groups including the Ladywood Community School of Music and The Notebenders at venues including Symphony Hall and The Drum marked him out as an inspirational and positive force in Birmingham.

The funeral of Andy Hamilton MBE will take place at 10.00am on Tuesday 26 June 2012 at the Birmingham Christian Centre.

The Hamilton family invite attendees to wear colourful accessories to the funeral, in honour of Andy’s love of wearing colourful ties.

Please note that there is no parking facility at the church on the day of the funeral. Attendees are advised to avoid parking in the immediate vicinity of the Birmingham Christian Centre or to use public transport where possible.

Directions to Birmingham Christian Centre

Flowers will be gratefully received and proceeds from donations at both events will be donated to The Ladywood School of Music, Moseley Hall Hospital, The Andy Hamilton Trust (The Notebenders) and The Karis Medical Centre, Ladywood.

Andy Raphael Thomas Hamilton (26 March 1918 – 3 June 2012).